The INQUEST Skills and Support Toolkit is a resource for families and friends dealing with the aftermath of a sudden bereavement. It is funded by the BIG Lottery Fund.
INQUEST was founded in 1981. It is a small charitable organisation with a staff team of seven and the only organisation in England and Wales that provides a specialist, comprehensive advice service to bereaved people, lawyers, other advice and support agencies, the media, MPs and the wider public on contentious deaths and their investigation.
In an instant, the words of a police officer “are you the mother of Joseph Scholes?” catapulted me into hell. I needed no other words; I knew my child was dead.
I was numb with shock, grief stricken and overwhelmed. The unexplained delay in informing me of his death and the circumstances surrounding it meant I became immediately suspicious, alienated from and untrusting of the authorities that normally underpin our daily lives.
I was no longer simply Yvonne mother of four, I was now the mother of a dead child prisoner and I had no idea what I needed to do or who could help me find the answers to the million questions whirling through my mind. How would I survive? I was to find the answers to those questions with the support of INQUEST.
Every twist and turn in our protracted legal battle called for new skills. I soon realised I must develop the ability to organise my time, engage in public speaking, learn how to deal successfully with media interest.