INQUEST in an ideal world wouldn’t exist, but we don’t live in an ideal world. And actually, what they do is this incredible work to support bereaved families whose loved ones have died at the hands of the state.

INQUEST also campaigns to prevent further deaths occurring. For better treatment of bereaved people. And for truth, and justice and accountability.

So I’m proud to support INQUEST. If you also feel inclined to support them, DO.

 - Mark Thomas


The BBC Radio 4 Appeal for INQUEST is presented by performer and activist Mark Thomas. It highlights the story of Seni Lewis and his family. First broadcast on the 26 August, you can listen on the BBC Radio 4 Appeal website.  The appeal will be repeated on Thursday 30 August at 3.27pm. Donate here or through BBC Radio 4, and please share with the hashtag #INQUESTR4APPEAL

Seni Lewis and his family

Seni Lewis died in 2010 in a mental health ward, after being restrained by police officers while medical staff stood by. His family were then faced with a series of complex processes, which took over seven years to conclude. INQUEST supported them throughout; arranging specialist lawyers, ongoing casework support, and facilitating opportunities to influence policy on the treatment of people with mental ill health.

 Aji Lewis, Seni's mother said:

In our state of shock, we did not know what to do. We would have been lost altogether if we had not been directed to INQUEST for the support and guidance we would need for the journey that lay ahead.  In the years since, INQUEST has been with us every step of the way, giving us strength to persevere and find out what happened to our son.

Now a Bill is going through parliament called ‘Seni’s Law’, the Mental Health (Use of Force Bill). Read more here.

Supporting bereaved families

What happened to Seni and his family is not unique. In the last two years INQUEST’s caseload has risen by 30%. The INQUEST team has directly worked on over 1,600 cases, supporting grieving families at a vital time. The INQUEST Handbook, a free informative guide available for any bereaved person facing an inquest, has been accessed over 5,000 times. £150 funds six months of dedicated expert support to one family. £10 covers the cost of providing a handbook.

One family who was supported by INQUEST said:

Inquest was there right at the start. It gave me the support, the information and knowledge I needed to know the long battle ahead to fight for truth and justice for my darling brother was going to succeed.

Read more about what families say about INQUEST here.

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas is a comedian, performer and activist. He has previously campaigned on the policing of protests, stop and search, and police surveillance, among many other things. Mark has supported the work of INQUEST, last year running a comedy show raising funds for the work of INQUEST and North Kensington Law Centre to support those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire. Mark said he’s very proud to support INQUEST in this appeal.

Completely independent of government, INQUEST relies entirely on grants and donations. Using the issues arising from the casework, INQUEST works to improve the inquest system and effect policy change to prevent future deaths. With your support INQUEST can continue this work and do more. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this appeal, for your generous donations and for sharing this page.