Listen to Benjamin Zephaniah’s BBC Radio 4 fundraising appeal for INQUEST on Sunday 6 November 2011 at 7.55 and 21:26 and repeated on Thursday 10 November at 15:27.
The BBC’s UK-wide broadcast appeals are made weekly on BBC Radio 4 (92-95 FM, 198 LW).
• INQUEST’s publication The Inquest Handbook is a comprehensive guide to the inquest system in England and Wales available free to any family facing an inquest.
• INQUEST has an in-depth casework service on deaths in custody or involving state agents and other cases that raise wider issues about state or corporate accountability.
• Issues arising from its casework inform its parliamentary , policy and legal work to improve the investigation and inquest system and the treatment of bereaved people.
• INQUEST is widely consulted by parliamentarians, the media, policy makers and the public.
• The unique combination of casework, policy work and campaigning ensures that the voices of bereaved families are heard.
• Please SEND money to support the work of INQUEST. Spring 2011 to Spring 2012 is INQUEST’s 30th Anniversary year and we are marking this with a number of events.
This is the full transcript of Benjamin Zephaniah’s BBC Appeal for INQUEST (which can also be heard online here):
I’ve appealed before on Radio 4 for the charity INQUEST – listeners were generous and I just wanted to say ‘THANK YOU’ for supporting the work of this ‘small’ charity.
For over 30 years, INQUEST has been supporting families of those who die in prison, psychiatric hospital, police cells or following contact with the police. Because of its expertise on contentious deaths it is widely consulted by Parliamentarians, lawyers, policy makers and the public.
INQUEST guides families through the lengthy investigation and inquest process, its unique and specialist casework service providing free ongoing support.
The charity can help families find a lawyer so that questions and concerns about a death can be raised – in the hope that other deaths are prevented. Without this families can find themselves isolated and alone at an inquest while government funded lawyers are there to represent the interests of the prison and police service.
My family once needed the charity’s help and I can tell you we were very grateful, others feel the same.
This letter is from a family of a man who died in prison:
“Without your support, I could not have got through those traumatic months caused by the death of John. Your gentle, softly spoken words of comfort and guidance brought me through a very difficult period.”
Following sudden, unnatural deaths such as those in custody, at work, in hospital, or on public transport, a coroners’ inquest is often the only opportunity a family has to ask questions about how their relative died. The charity has an Inquest Handbook available for any bereaved family that explains the whole process. As another letter says:
“As a family we had no idea of how to even start going about preparing for Alex’s inquest and to be honest we were scared, but with your support and comfort we felt assured”
The small dedicated team at INQUEST helps over 350 families each year providing a vital service at a deeply traumatic time. ‘Support’ that is described in one letter as: “a glowing light in a very dark tunnel.”
You can make a donation now by calling 0800 404 8144, that’s 0800 404 8144. Or you can send a cheque payable to INQUEST to FREEPOST BBC RADIO 4 APPEAL. That’s FREEPOST BBC RADIO 4 APPEAL. Please mark the back of your envelope INQUEST.