Charities news

 

Reading Half Marathon 2019 for Headway UK

On Sunday 17 March, Kim Smerdon, Claire Roantree and Martin Anderson from our Personal Injury team ran the Reading Half Marathon to help raise over £1,000.00 for Headway Thames Valley.

Headway Thames Valley is a great local charity, which provides help and support to help people to rebuild their lives after suffering a brain injury.  They also do important campaigning work to raise awareness of the causes and effects of brain injury. Their dedicated team provides help and rehabilitation therapies across the Thames Valley.

A brain injury does not only affect the victim, but also their family, friends and colleagues and Headway Thames Valley also provide information, support and services to families and carers.

Fortunately, the weather was relatively kind, which was a relief given the storms the night before. There was also huge crowd support all the way along, which helped us make it to the finish line in the Madejski Stadium.

Kim Smerdon, head of the Personal Injury team at Boyes Turner and a trustee for Headway Thames Valley said

“as someone who has dedicated much of my career to acting for clients with brain injuries, this is a cause which is particularly close to my heart.  Headway Thames Valley give vital support to brain injury victims and their families when it is most needed and I hope that the funds raised will help them to continue their great work”

If you or a family member has suffered a brain injury, we may be able to help. Get in touch with a member of our experienced personal injury claims team to discuss making a claim by emailing them at piclaims@boyesturner.com.

All #AGloHa for Child Brain Injury Trust

Over the last week, the staff at Boyes Turner Solicitors have been supporting #GloWeek and raising funds in support of the Child Brain Injury Trust. 

As the autumnal evenings draw in, the Child Brain Injury Trust (CBIT) work to highlight the message; “Be seen not hurt”

It is important to educate primary school age children across the UK about the need to stay safe on the roads, given that they will be making their way to and from school in darker conditions at this time of year. 

On Tuesday last week staff, friends and family took part in a #GloZumba event donning fluorescent clothing, fluorescent face paint and waving glow sticks whilst completing an hour-long fitness session. We would like to thank Vodka Revolution for providing a venue for the event, and our fitness instructor from Buzz Gyms for donating her time and giving us a great workout to some very Latin beats! 

On Thursday, solicitors from Boyes Turner’s medical negligence and personal injury claims teams, together with Partner, Laxmi Patel, and her colleague, Janata Ali, from the Special Educational Needs Team attended the #AGloHa event organised by @CBIT to raise funds to help children and families affected by brain injury.

The Child Brain Injury Trust provides invaluable help for parents and families of those affected by an acquired brain injury. They offer a child and family support service, as well as advice and information and online referrals to other organisations that can help support those affected by a brain injury.

Boyes Turner’s brain injury solicitors know that when a childhood brain injury strikes, the whole family is affected, as their entire way of life is irrevocably altered. The road to recovery can seem like a long and bumpy journey.

Boyes Turner are proud to participate in the Child Brain Injury Trust’s efforts to help brain- injured children and their families access invaluable advice and support at what is, for everybody in the affected family, a very difficult time.   

To read more about the work that Boyes Turner specialist solicitors do to help those with a brain injury please click here.

Child Brain Injury Training Day

On Friday 12 October we at Boyes Turner were delighted to welcome case managers, therapists and many others who work with brain-injured children to our Child Brain Injury Training Day. 

The aim of the day was to highlight the issues a child with a brain injury can face but with an emphasis on the wider impact this can have on the family.

We hosted a number of wonderful speakers including: 

  • Sharmin Campbell - Director, Celsior Management - spoke about Care and Case Management reports - the legal perspective
  • Lindsay Oliver - SLT, Independent Living Solutions - gave a 30 minute guide to Speech and Language Therapy with Children with Brain Injuries
  • Marc Beale - Director, Malvern Solutions Ltd - spoke about how assistive technology can help increase independence for brain injured children and their families
  •  Joanne Foster & Kate Correal - Case Managers, North Star Case Management - gave us an insight into case management on the ground
  • Cheryl Newton - Consultant Paediatric Neuropsychologist - spoke about the invisible injury of children with brain injuries 

We are grateful to all who attended the day and hope the programme offered food for thought for all.

As part of the programme we were delighted to welcome Louise Wilkinson and Lucy Perkins from CBIT (Child Brain Injury Trust). This fantastic charity work closely with the injured child and their family, providing support and information, helping to access appropriate services and educating schools about their role in the rehabilitation process for a brain injured child.

The charity has regional family liaison and support coordinators all over the country who can help and support injured children and ensure as far as possible their needs are met. Lucy is the Thames Valley Coordinator and we were delighted she could join us to talk about the focus of her work with local families.

We are focused on providing treatment, care, and support to brain-injured children and their families but not all families will have the financial support of a claim and therefore CBIT coordinators play a vital role in trying to plug this gap and signpost children and families to local services.

We look forward to working with CBIT in the future and will be signposting clients to them for help where extra support is needed.

Our next fund raising event for the charity will be a GloZumba event held locally to raise awareness about their latest child safety campaign. Be safe. Be seen.

If you would like to support the event or join us please contact Claire Roantree for more information. 

The Orbiteers Abseiled for Headway

Congratulations to the Boyes Turner Orbiteers and our very own Thomas Green who represented the Court of Protection team in abseiling down from the Arcelor Mittal Orbit. The Orbit is the UK’s largest freefall abseil from which you can see London 262 feet above the City. The structure is one of the most striking visual legacies of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games.

 

Thomas has only been with us for two months but bravely stepped in at the last minute to fill the position of someone who reluctantly withdrew. You can see from the photos that the weather was very kind which was particularly welcome, bearing in mind the height that they abseiled down from.

Funds were raised for Headway which is a fabulous charity working to improve life after brain injury. A brain injury can challenge every aspect of a person’s daily life from walking, talking, thinking and feeling. As Headway state ‘it can mean losing both the life you once lived and the person you once were’.

In many cases a brain injury can be a ‘hidden disability’ so that it is difficult to tell from a person’s outward appearance that they do have a disability. One of the ways that Headway are trying to assist in such a situation is to produce a Brain Injury Identity card so that the police and anyone assisting a brain injured person can identify the fact that they have a brain injury and ensure that they receive the appropriate support. The card is personalised and explains the effects of the brain injury and the support required. These can be obtained from the Headway website www.headway.org.uk.

Headway help people rebuild their life following a brain injury and increase their confidence - hopefully the funds our team raised will assist with this. Thomas said

“It was a wonderful experience which raised money for a good cause and I would definitely love to do it again!”

Cycle-Smart Foundation's 20th Anniversary

We were invited to the Cycle Smart Foundation's 20th Anniversary Grand Gala Dinner and had a wonderful time celebrating the work of this long standing and influential charity. 

What is Cycle Smart?

Cycle Smart Foundation is a charity dedicated to saving young people’s lives by promoting all aspects of safer cycling, in particular, the use of cycle helmets.

They were founded by Angie Lee, a former paediatric nurse, who through her work, saw the devastation that head injury caused not only to the child but to the family and friends.

Since its conception the charity has grown in its drive and commitment to advocate for children and young people. It is a national resource working with parents, teachers, police, road safety officers, government departments, healthcare professionals and children themselves by promoting and providing educational programmes in schools throughout the UK and Northern Ireland.

20th Anniversary Grand Gala Dinner

Cycle Smart recently celebrated their 20th Anniversary in style! Angie was joined by over 150 guests and, via pre-recorded videos, by David Coulthard and Aaron Heslehurst who both gave their support and congratulations on the anniversary and offered auction prizes.

Guests were entertained by a magician and DJ and partook in a raffle and auction. There were some fantastic prizes which included a VIP ticket to be the guest of David Coulthard at this year’s British Grand Prix, 2 night stay at Portforton Castle and a trip in a 1908 Silver Ghost and a week-long stay in a villa in the Algarve.

Maisie and her mum Jane Godden-Hall were also in attendance; Maisie is a teenage campaigner for the mandatory wearing of cycle helmets by children. If you want to learn more you can watch the video she made with Hampshire police and sign her petition.

Angie commented:

“a fantastic and successful evening raising over £25,000 for the Foundation in its 20th year. The evening not just raised funds, but celebrated our achievements among friends and families affected by the tragedy caused by a cycle accident”

Boyes Turner supports Cycle-Smart Foundation, a local Reading charity who campaign for safer cycling particularly amongst younger children.

If you or someone you know has been seriously injured following a cycling accident please contact us by email piclaims@boyesturner.com for a free no obligation advice on pursuing a personal injury claim.

Cycle Smart Foundation: The 5 S's event, Friday 27 April 2018

As specialists in brain injury and severe disability claims, Boyes Turner’s personal injury lawyers are active supporters of the Cycle Smart Foundation which campaigns for child safety, the prevention of accidents and reduction of injury. 

Boyes Turner have been working with the charity’s founder, Angie Lee, to promote safer cycling for children by encouraging them to wear well-fitted cycle helmets properly. Learn more about the 5 Ss campaign here.

Cycle Smart Foundation celebrates its 20th anniversary in May 2018. To mark the event, personal injury partner and Cycle Smart trustee, Claire Roantree, was delighted to host the charity’s ‘5 Ss’ research meeting which gathered representatives from local councils in Berkshire and the South East, the Department for Transport, Hampshire & Thames Valley Police, CCG, Child Accident Prevention Trust, Royal Berkshire Hospital, Brain Injury Group,  Brake, Headway UK and Circle Hospital Reading to review and discuss data collected by Cycle Smart over the last 12 months relating to children’s cycling habits.

The charity carried out national questionnaire surveys in 2017 which looked at the cycling behaviour of children aged five to seven, seven to nine, and ten to 14, and studied attitudes in teenage cyclists.  All questionnaires were completed in schools which had been randomly selected but gave a cross-section of child cyclists in England. 

Findings of the study

The study found that although more children walked to school than cycled, there were higher numbers of hospital admissions for pedal cycle injuries than for injuries to child pedestrians.

There was an increase in the number of cyclists aged between five to nine years old. 79% of children in this younger age group own a helmet, compared with only 58% of 11 to 14 year old cyclists. Amongst helmet owners, a higher proportion of younger children wear their helmet than teenagers. Despite owning a helmet, a large proportion of teenagers never wear one.

Should wearing cycle helmets be mandatory for children up to the age of 14?

More children are cycling on roads where there are cars. Amongst primary school children, who are more easily influenced by their parents and teachers, cycle helmets tend to be worn. Secondary school children are more susceptible to influence from social and peer pressures where factors such as, whether their friends wear helmets, whether to do so is uncool or messes up their hair, are deterring them from looking after their own safety and placing them at increased risk of serious injury in the event of an accident or a fall.

Internationally, more and more countries have introduced legislation to make helmets mandatory for child cyclists, including France, 22 states of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Jersey. The obvious implication is that mandatory cycle helmet legislation is considered to be associated with a reduction in head injuries with cyclists of all ages. However, young children are particularly vulnerable to head injury if they fall from their bikes. 

The diverse and experienced focus group discussed the influence of parental control, social factors, demographics, education, peer pressure, the availability of Bikeability schemes and funding issues in Local Authorities.

Cycle Smart promotes the availability of the Bikeability Scheme for all children regardless of background, beginning at an earlier age and continuing into secondary education to promote and maintain better cycling safety habits. Cycle Smart also campaigns for the mandatory wearing of cycle helmets for children up to 14 years of age. 

This push for legislative change is all too frequently met with arguments ranging from the fear that the imposition of mandatory helmets will deter people from cycling if they perceive it to be a dangerous sport to concerns about increasing obesity within an increasingly inactive population. However, for those who have seen first-hand the brain damage and lifelong disability that can be suffered by children who are knocked or fall from their bikes, it makes sense to make safety and the protection of their head and brain the overriding priority.

Cycle Smart’s research reveals that the key factors in influencing the behaviour of children of all ages are school rules and the law. Encouragement is needed to create a collective consciousness whereby the wearing of cycle helmets becomes “the norm”. 

In the light of this latest research Boyes Turner await the government’s review of child cycling safety, due later this year in the hope that mandatory increased safety measures will reduce the numbers of children suffering head injuries from cycle accidents in England each year.

 

 

Positive result for mesothelioma claimants in Bussey v Anglia Heating Ltd

We are delighted to read that the Bussey’s appeal has been allowed and that the Judges rejected Technical Data Note 13 as the test in determining the applicable levels of asbestos exposure in mesothelioma cases. 

David Bussey was a plumber. He was exposed to asbestos during two periods of employment so there was more than one defendant to the claim. The claim against Avery Way Electronics Limited settled for £150,000 and the case continued against the remaining defendant, Anglia Heating Limited, with whom he was employed from about 1965 to 1968. During that time he handled and cut asbestos cement pipes (with a hacksaw), swept up asbestos and used asbestos rope for caulking joints. 

When the case first came to trial, the judge ruled that his asbestos exposure fell below the levels set out in Technical Data Note 13 (TDN13). TDN13 was a document issued by HM Factory Inspectorate in March 1970. This stated that criminal liability would not be incurred where the concentration of asbestos dust in the workplace was kept below certain specified limits.

In the case of Williams –v- University of Birmingham [2001] EWCA CIV 12 42, it was held that a claim could not succeed if the exposure was below the levels in TDN13. This made it far more difficult to succeed in obtaining justice for injured victims in low level asbestos mesothelioma cases. The judge in Williams laid down a binding proposition that employers were entitled to regard exposure at levels below those identified in TDN13 as safe, resulting in TDN13 being used as a guide as to what were acceptable and unacceptable levels of exposure in 1974. 

However, the Court of Appeal judgment in Bussey rejects the proposition that employers were entitled to regard exposure levels below those specified in TDN13 as being safe. Lord Justice Jackson says in the judgment that: “TDN13 sets out the exposure levels which, after May 1970, would trigger a prosecution by the Factory Inspectorate. That is a relevant consideration. It is not determinative of every case”. 

The decision in Bussey means that while TDN13 is a guide, it is not the benchmark for asbestos exposure and TDN13 does not establish a safe limit for exposure to asbestos. 

We are delighted that the often-quoted benchmark of TDN13 has now been overturned. 

The case has been sent back to the trial judge for him to re-determine the issue of liability and we are now awaiting that decision.

If you or a family member has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or any other asbestos related disease, we may be able to help. Contact us by email IDClaims@boyesturner.com for a free initial discussion.

Education Bursary - Alison Bain's story

As specialists in mesothelioma and other asbestos-related disease claims, Boyes Turner appreciate the valuable work carried out by the lung cancer nurses who support and care for victims of asbestos exposure during their hospital treatment and palliative care. 

In recognition of the value of their work, the importance of ongoing education and research into asbestos disease and the significant costs involved in updating their knowledge and skills, Boyes Turner offer sponsorship to nurses involved in thoracic oncology via an educational bursary. The bursary is awarded selectively, on application, to a limited number of nurses each year at Boyes Turner’s discretion.

Alison Bain, Lead Clinic Nurse Specialist at Royal Stoke University Hospital, reviews her experience after receiving sponsorship to attend the 2017 Annual Conference of the National Lung Cancer Forum for Nurses (NLCFN).

“The National Lung Cancer Forum for Nurses Annual Conference provides a tremendous opportunity for pollination of new ideas, innovations, learning from past experiences and is an invaluable resource to all that attend.

This year’s conference was fantastic, so I am truly grateful to Boyes Turner LLP for providing funding; without this, I certainly would not have been able to go.

The programme delivered an excellent range of patient centred topics, covering interesting facts, strategic development and interventions. On a personal level, conference highlights included the interactive sessions, debate and Symposium sessions.

Drew Povey was an exceptional motivational speaker; his delivery on leadership and ‘Making THE Difference’ was fantastic and an inspiration to all of us. This was a session not to be missed and something that will be etched on the minds of members for many years to come!

The interactive session on tobacco addiction, with our role, as frontline CNSs, playing a key role in tackling this problem, was entertaining to say the least and stimulated competition within the groups. Likewise, the debate for the right to a HNA was extremely witty, well delivered but also challenged personal opinions and provided an opportunity for reflection.

Consideration for future workforce planning and establishing competencies required for the next generation of Nurse Specialist, debate around the necessity to adapt to the ever-changing environment and push for succession planning strategies as budgets tighten, stimulated many discussions about CNS personal and academic development. Group work created an initial draft of bullet points which were considered to be essential in the validation of lung cancer specific competencies. Other broader issues gave ‘food for thought’ on sustainable and viable working practices, the need to adapt and be creative and how to implement an accelerated diagnostic pathway.

New developments, research and treatment considerations for mesothelioma and NSCLC third generation agents, poster presentations and the general presence of sponsored stands ensured that the event catered for all needs.

A truly enjoyable event, thank you.”

Alison Bain, Lead Clinic Nurse Specialist, Royal Stoke University Hospital

To learn more about our Education Bursary and how you can get involved please contact bursaries@boyesturner.com.

 

Do you know about Young Carers Day?

Across the world thousands of people are reliant upon others for care and assistance in order to get through the day.  The level of care required can range from simple assistance with fetching items through to more complex nursing and personal care needs, such as assisting with washing and dressing, feeding and toileting. 

For those without the benefit of a compensation award for professional care costs, the role of carer is often taken on by a young family member, such as a child, grandchild or a younger sibling. The young carer’s role can be physically and emotionally draining, can limit their social lives and impact on their studies. 

It is estimated that there are approximately 700,000 young carers in the UK. 

To recognise the amazing efforts young carers go to when supporting their loved ones, a national Young Carers Awareness Day is held each year.  This year the event falls on 25 January 2018. The purpose of the event is to raise awareness for young carers and their valuable work, to raise funds to assist them and to ensure professional support is in place to meet their own needs which can become neglected whilst they look after the needs of others. 

Boyes Turner’s personal injury team supports the aims of Young Carers Awareness Day. We recognise the extent to which our seriously injured clients are often dependent on young carers for assistance with everyday living following an accident, providing emotional support and facilitating their rehabilitation.  Where the injury was the result of negligence on the road, in the workplace, at school or in hospital we can help families with the financial hardship and emotional strain of caring for a loved one after amputation, spinal injury, brain damage or other serious injury by recovering the costs of professional or family care, hoists, wheelchairs, specialist beds and other equipment, adapted housing to facilitate integrated family life for the injured person, and much-needed respite for the carers. 

Boyes Turner’s specialist injury lawyers have extensive experience in working with case managers and therapists in conjunction with the family, to ensure that the injured person’s needs are properly met, with the right combination of family and professional support to maximise the injured person’s rehabilitation, independence and quality of life with the support, but not to the detriment, of the family carers.  

If you or someone you know is a young carer and would like some advice or support please visit the Carers Trust website here

This website also has lots of useful information about Young Carers Awareness Day and how you can get involved. 
 

Local amputee and children's charities to bring hope to disabled Romanian children

Local charities have created a unique partnership that will see life-changing artificial limbs and wheelchairs transported from South-east England to help many amputee kids in Romania who have little hope of receiving a prosthesis which will change their lives.

Farnborough-based Limbcare, a group that provides peer support to limb-impaired individuals and communities and which is committed to recycling and reusing prosthesis, is joining forces with Kent charity Bless The Children (UK), to send this equipment to their long-term partner ‘FundatiaTheranova’ in Oradea, Romania.

Led by Chairman Ray Edwards MBE, the UK’s longest-surviving quad amputee, Limbcare has been able to collect a large number of used prosthetic limbs, wheelchairs and walking aids through its work with local hospitals since it was founded in 2010.

We, helped bring about the encounter between Ray and Bless The Children (UK)’s Carol Marsh that led to the idea that these limbs and wheelchairs, which were sitting unused, could be used to help to Fundatia Theranova to provide low-cost prostheses to their patients..

Limbcare’s Chairman Ray Edwards MBE said: “We are delighted and proud to help in this initiative which fits clearly with Limbcare’s mission towards creating greater independence for all amputees and limb impaired people, and helping individuals improve their quality of life.”

Bless The Children (UK)’s Carol Marsh added: “Words cannot express how much joy these limbs will bring to the young people we are helping in Romania. Many have little or no hope of regaining their mobility. This simple gesture will have a major impact on their immediate and later lives.”

Carol led a convoy of several cars and 4×4’s to Yateley, Hampshire, on Friday 10th November, to collect as many prosthetic limbs, wheelchairs and walking aids as they could. These will then be packed and shipped by road to Romania later in November.

Claire Roantree, a partner at Boyes Turner, said: “The work that Ray and Carol are doing will change lives. We’re delighted to be able to help fund the transport that will get these limbs and wheelchairs quickly to the people who need them”.

Since 2001 Bless The Children (UK) has provided 33 limbs to children and young people and sent 10 kits to be assembled in Romania. Theranova not only custom-builds and fits prosthetic limbs but also provides a full support and follow-up programme.

 More information about the two charities:

·       Limbcare Limbcare was formed on 8th June 2010 by Ray Edwards MBE (the UK’s Longest surviving quad amputee), Alex Hyde-Smith, Roy Wright and Barry Perrin. To create empathy, not sympathy, to all amputees and the limb impaired. Limbcare has found that often redundant or unusable limbs are scrapped into landfill sites. They have arranged pick up facilities throughout the UK to bring these to their Recycling Centre in Camberley.
Parts are sent overseas for reuse, some specialised parts resold while others can be broken up for scrap metal to be recycled thereby creating money to be ploughed back into mentoring trainee prosthetists and technicians.

·       Bless The Children (UK) became a registered charity in January 1997. Its members have been working as volunteers in Romania since 1990.  In 1996 they took over the Darmanesti Day Centre to provide social and practical help to the elderly, poor families with disadvantaged children and individuals living in difficult circumstances in the small rural town of Darmanesti, North-East Romania.

Watch That’s Surrey TV’s interview with Limbcare and Bless the Children HERE.

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The service was personal, professional and considered. I was treated so kindly and in the end I knew that not only had I found the right organisation but also the right person.

Boyes Turner client

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