22 December 2021

Subscribe to recieve this newsletter to your inbox here

Dear friends,
As we all come to the end of another uniquely challenging year, we would like to share some reflections and gratitude.
We give thanks to all those who have supported INQUEST in 2021, including everyone who has donated, our funders, and all those who have helped to support and share our campaigns and the stories of those we work with.

I would also like to thank a very special team of staff at INQUEST for the dedication and passion they have brought to the work, and our Board of Trustees for their insights and support.
We know the festive period can be a particularly difficult time for many, including those who are missing loved ones. All the more so when you are facing continued injustice. We also know that the ongoing public health crisis has compounded feelings of isolation and anxiety.

We want to share a message of solidarity with families affected, reminding them that INQUEST will keep standing alongside them regardless of the external circumstances.
Over the break, families can connect with people in similar situations on the Families @ INQUEST Facebook Group, which has become an important space for connection, reflection, information and peer support.
We also want to share a message of hope. Creating tangible change in the work we do takes time. With two significant steps forward this month we are reminded that, through persistence, collaboration and campaigning, we have the power to make a difference.
This month we have celebrated significant progress in the legal aid for inquests campaign. The Government has announced that exceptional case funding for inquests will no longer be means tested from 12 January 2022.

This is a key part of the goals of our legal aid for inquests campaign that has forced government to acknowledge the injustice and cruelty of inquest funding currently. This change is a testament to families, INQUEST staff past and present, family lawyers and everyone who supported the campaign.
We have also seen the publication of the long awaited guidance for Seni’s Law and confirmation of March 2022 as the date this important legislation will come into force. Formally known as the Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Act 2018, the law increases protections and oversight on use of force in mental health settings.

For both these areas of work, this this just the beginning. We know there is much more to be done. We reflect on this progress to energise all those who work with us for the year ahead in pursuit of social and racial justice. None of this would be possible without the strength of bereaved people who have led calls for change over decades. We thank every one of them for this work.
Next year marks 40 years since INQUEST was constituted. We will take the opportunity to reflect on these past decades alongside the families and campaigners who have been on that journey. It will once more demonstrate that, although systemic change can be slow and protracted, it does indeed happen. We have lots of interesting and exciting projects planned to mark this milestone, so watch this space!
Wishing you all a restful festive period and a healthy and peaceful new year.
Best wishes,

Deborah Coles, Director of INQUEST
Please note: INQUEST’s office will be closed from Thursday 23 December until Tuesday 4 January 2022. We look forward to working with you in the New Year.



“Your service was there at the start of my journey. I cannot imagine where I would have been today without you guys and the support the research and the compassion given to me for the first time by any individual within a professional capacity.” – Family feedback

INQUEST are independent of government, and entirely reliant on grants donations. Thank you to our funders and individual donors for supporting our work throughout 2021. If you would like to support us you can fundraise with JustGiving, make a one off donation or give regularly on our website.


The National Mikey Powell Memorial Family Fund are doing unique work to support bereaved families, giving direct grants. INQUEST is an assessment partner and has been hugely impressed with the impact of their work.

Their latest grants have helped families attend inquests, cover funeral costs, campaign for justice and take much needed respite. Support them by donating here. Families affected can also access useful discounted items and resources from the Give Back Shop.