What people say

‘We would like to thank INQUEST and our case worker for their help and support. INQUEST is a real lifeline for people who have lost loved ones and they have helped us practically and emotionally. They are worthy of much more funding than they receive to carry on their excellent work in increasing understanding in this area and in the way they support bereaved families.’

– Family of a man who died in custody

‘No other organisation has worked so closely with bereaved families throughout the investigation and inquest process. INQUEST has a unique insight into the daily difficulties families face while striving to cope in the aftermath of a death in custody. The Skills and Support Toolkit can provide you with practical advice needed to continue and maintain your day to day life at a time when even the simplest of tasks can seem insurmountable, or help you develop the skills needed to mount a campaign. ’

– Mother of a child who died in prison

‘Thank you for all the work you have done for us. I honestly thought that I could just turn up at the inquest and give my view. I never knew that the process was this complicated. Without people like you we wouldn’t get anywhere’

– Father of a man who died in prison

‘You lot do a wonderful job and people who are right at the top need to acknowledge your work and what you do for the families. Without your help we wouldn’t know where to start. You found out lawyer and you put us on the right track. People need to hear from families and how they are affected by this long process’

– Bereaved family member

‘INQUEST continues to bring light and balance. Pessimism of the intellect with a powerful optimism of the will.’

– Colin Salmon, actor

‘It has been encouraging that the last few years have seen the emergence of a growing body of lawyers specialising in representation at inquests. INQUEST has, of course, been at the forefront of promoting this.’

– William Armstrong, retired HM Coroner for Norfolk

‘INQUEST is a hugely respected and influential advocate on behalf of bereaved families in custody and elsewhere.’

– Nigel Newcomen, Prisons and Probation Ombudsman

‘…an organisation that shines a light into the state’s darkest corners, often on behalf of society’s most vulnerable people.’

– The Guardian editorial "In praise of... INQUEST", 4 September 2011

‘I would like to thank everyone who has helped and supported me through [my brother's] inquest. We could not have got the justice he deserves without the help of inquest and our amazingly brilliant legal team, my gratitude and heartfelt wishes to each and everyone of you.’

– Sister of a man who died in prison

‘I feel much better for speaking to you and really appreciate your calling me. My day has improved and is much brighter now. You’re wonderful thank you so much. The handbook has been really helpful and I have learnt a lot from this.’

– Bereaved family member

‘It’s like every door shuts in your face. INQUEST gives people a little bit of hope. It gives you something to hold on to. If that information is out there for people it will make a difference psychologically.’

– Brother of a man who died in prison

‘l can not thank you all enough for the help and support you have given us over our terrible loss. If it wasn’t for INQUEST, we would not have been able to deal with the faults of the prison system, and try and make some changes. Once again thank you all and thank you for being there if ever l needed to speak to someone.’

– Mother of a young man who died in prison

‘I think the [Inquest] Handbook is excellent, so comprehensive and clearly explained.’

– Mother of a man who died in prison

‘Although it is fair to say I was given adequate opportunity to express my views the final verdict was not the one I had hoped for. We were all devastated to think that [our brother] had died in such tragic circumstances and no one had been made accountable.’

– Family of man who died while detained under the Mental Health Act

‘We thought that we were going insane, couldn’t understand what was happening to us, what had happened to my son. INQUEST has supported, enabled, educated and empowered and restored our faith in justice. We were given back our voice. ’

– Mother of a child who died in Young Offender Institution

‘Lobbying that is based on thorough research and casework (such as that done by INQUEST), and focuses on specific issues, such as the deaths of children in custody, needs support.’

– New Philanthropy Capital, 'Trial and error: Children and young people in trouble with the law, a guide for charities'

‘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

‘Your support and assistance in our struggle for truth and justice helped achieve a just verdict, not only for Roger but for the unsung victims, the families and friends of loved ones who have died in custody and for all our endeavours… We view your organisation, your work and dedication with respect and immense admiration. We hope that by working with you, other campaigns and with god’s blessing we can bring about meaningful change.’

– Roger Sylvester Justice Campaign

‘We were helped through our ordeal by a wonderful group of people whose kindness knows no bounds…We are grateful to all of the people at INQUEST for giving a voice to bereaved families and for your determination to oppose the wrong and fight for right.’

– Bereaved family member

‘All the staff are friendly and caring. It’s them that make INQUEST work so well.’

– Bereaved family member

‘Very helpful, very scared of the inquest, but feel a bit calmer now’

– User of the guide to inquests

‘Thank you so very much for all of your help. You have been a glowing light in a very dark tunnel. Your support has been invaluable.’

– Bereaved family member

‘The decision to publish the Cass report is an extraordinary victory for INQUEST… Belatedly, it lifts another layer of camouflage from the secrets, lies and impunity that prevail in large sections of the British state and make such terrible events not merely possible but more likely…What INQUEST, Celia Stubbs and countless others around the world – say, the Mothers and Grandmothers of the Disappeared in Argentina – keep reminding us is not just that the instincts of the powerful are wrong, but that they can also be defeated, however long it may take.’

– David Ransom, friend of Blair Peach and former editor of New Internationalist magazine

‘Let me record my thanks to and appreciation and admiration for the organisation INQUEST… That organisation, which is based in my constituency, has done amazingly good work over a long period in supporting the families of people who have died in custody. Nothing is popular about such cases, but the organisation has been dogged in pursuing them. I think we should appreciate the value of civil society organisations of that kind which do so much to promote decent standards and liberty, and which help the House to produce better legislation.’

– Jeremy Corbyn MP

‘My congratulations to all involved in this 30 year battle for disclosure [of the Cass report on the death of Blair Peach] … it was this awful state of affairs which led those of us who founded INQUEST to set it up. But it is mind-boggling to think that we were still arguing over this report 30 years later.’

– Terry Munyard, barrister at Garden Court Chambers and founding member of INQUEST

‘Thank you so much for your help, you really have shed some light on an issue that was really worrying me. Now I just have to get through the day itself.’

– Partner of young man who died from an overdose

‘I very much admire the Co-Directors of INQUEST who have committed their professional lives to speaking up for bereaved families and helping them seeking justice for their loved ones.They work every day with the victims of tragic circumstances and I think we can all learn from their strength, tenacity and professionalism.’

– Katy Swaine, former Legal Director for Children’s Rights Alliance for England

‘I think the shock of the death stops you thinking or taking all the details in. If I had been told about the right to a second post-mortem again after a few days, I would probably have liked one done.’

– Family of a woman who died in prison

‘You have clearly made yourselves a force to be reckoned with, a powerful instrument for good. In the process you have not only achieved real change in an aspect of our common life which would have commanded little attention or esteem were it not for your efforts, but you have at the same time offered enormous support to those bereaved people who long for a clear verdict on the death in custody of someone who means a great deal to them.’

– Dr Peter Selby, President of the National Council for Independent Monitoring Boards

‘I’ve been a long-time supporter of the crucial work that INQUEST does. Until there is legislation to change the way inquests are conducted and the provision of legal and psychological support to the bereaved of those who died in custody, INQUEST will continue to be a vital source of support for families.’

– Linton Kwesi Johnson

‘INQUEST’s ability to look back and analyse trends allows them to speak with authority and their word counts for a great deal.’

– Daniel Machover, solicitor, Hickman and Rose

‘INQUEST selflessly does work that matters to us all; work that makes a difference to our community, changing it – for the better; it promotes human rights, protects and enhances our freedoms, it unflinchingly searches for the truth.’

– Dexter Dias QC

‘INQUEST’s briefings are such that parliamentarians from both houses will attend, and crucially from all parties. They command huge respect throughout parliament.’

– Lord David Ramsbotham, former HM Chief Inspector of Prisons

‘I met other family members through [INQUEST] meetings in London. This was very helpful. Their experiences being similar, they have understanding of what is happening inside you.’

– Mother of young woman who died after being released from police custody

‘I found your site and then sent for your handbook. It is BRILLIANT packed with everything I needed help and advice about. Now a part of my resource kit which I use to help clients with. I also gave a client your number and she in turn got her own book and has found it invaluable. So, I just wanted to say thank you and please continue your great work.’

– Bereavement volunteer, Plymouth

‘At the time of the tragedy, I had no idea of what to do or who to turn to. By luck, I found yourselves and contacted you, the rest as we say is history. On behalf of [my brother's] family, friends and myself I would just like to thank you so much for your professional support and advice during that difficult period and without that help, I do not think we would be where we are today.’

– Brother of a man who died in police custody

‘Really useful …when I go to the inquest I feel I will not be as lost as I thought I would be’

– User of the guide to inquests, via the INQUEST website

‘I dread to think how things would be if I had not got a proper solicitor who knew what he was doing.’

– Family of a man who died in prison

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