INQUEST Family Forum November 2015
12 January 2016
On 28 November 2015, INQUEST organised its second Family Forum this year. 50 families and friends from across England came together to reflect on their thoughts and experiences following a death, and to support others at different stages of the inquest process.
The first part of the day was split into small groups, allowing families and friends a space to talk about their own experiences and the mutual support to help one another cope with the specific challenges they faced.
There was overwhelmingly positive feedback from participants about the value of these sessions:
‘’The day is always very useful as you are meeting people that have been through a similar experience so there is no stigma or judgements made. These days are my form of counselling and help me tremendously.’’
‘’I believe that INQUEST is invaluable to the families that are going through this process. I feel that the day always goes too quickly.”
‘’The group chat was so excellent & insightful – it is so rare that we are offered a platform in which just to listen, empathise and cry amongst other similar people.’’
The day ended on a positive note, as we launched our Skills and Support Toolkit and invited Equally Ours, an organisation set up to promote the importance of human rights, to deliver a presentation on the benefits of human rights to bereaved families going through an inquest.
Consultant Chris Tully and Policy and Parliamentary Officer, Ayesha Carmouche followed the presentation by highlighting the various skills individuals can learn by using INQUEST’s newly launched toolkit.
These skills help support individuals following a death, and give them the knowledge to communicate their concerns and challenge the injustices they may face. Skills included: dealing with the media, organising paperwork ahead of an inquest, and speaking in public.
Comments from families on the toolkit included:
‘’Very informative especially the small personal things.”
“Deals with a lot of the questions you may have. Definitely very useful.’
For more information on our Family Forums please see click on this link. Our next Family Forum will take place in early 2016. If you would like to find out more, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
‘I was already working with INQUEST, which is the organisation who monitor deaths in custody, and at one AGM I told the audience that what happened to these people [killed in police custody like Chistopher Alder, Roger Sylvester and many others] could happen to any of us. And then a couple of years later, I was standing in front of them again but now it had happened to my cousin. So my family and me were now “users” of Inquest. It shows you that none of us are immune – here am I, Benjamin Zephaniah, patron of INQUEST and client of INQUEST at the same time.’
– Benjamin Zephaniah