At Hudgell Solicitors, we believe it is important not only to provide the very best legal support for clients to secure the compensation and rehabilitation support they need on the road to recovery, but also to give our backing to the charities providing vital support to the people we represent, and to campaign on issues which impact on those same people too.
In 2016, this has seen our teams across England and Wales become heavily involved in awareness campaigns aiming to provide better support from birth to elderly care, as well as seeking to improve safety levels in hospitals and on the roads, something which can hopefully ultimately reduce the number of people needing life-long care due to avoidable accidents and injuries.
Here are some of the projects we have been proud to be a part of in 2016:
Pancakes at the ready in support of Rehab
Hudgell Solicitors were delighted help raise the profile of a charity which champions inclusion for all people with a disability or disadvantage in life as we became sponsors of the annual Parliamentary Pancake Race at Westminster.
The event, held on Shrove Tuesday, saw teams of MPs, Lords, and members of the press go head-to-head in a bid to be crowned the champions of 2016.
Given the status of those involved, the event always attracts media attention, bringing with it great publicity for Rehab, a charity which has many similarities in its work to ours in supporting people towards enjoying the most fulfilled and rewarding lives as possible, even when faced with many difficulties and challenges.
Campaigning for the elderly to loved, respected, protected and given their dignity in care
Placing the neglectful and abusive care of the elderly across the country into the spotlight, our Love Our Vulnerable and Elderly campaign brought the issue to the attention of Westminster as thousands signed a petition in support of making CCTV compulsory in all care and residential homes.
In a survey, 8 in 10 people questioned said they would agree to allowing their loved ones to be filmed 24 hours a day to provide them with better protection.
Whilst rejecting calls for CCTV to be compulsory, the Government said it did not object to the use of CCTV systems in care homes – and admitted that as hidden video footage had proved valuable in some cases, it was something which could be appropriate on occasions.
For our part, our specialist team of care home abuse and neglect solicitors will continue to give families the legal support and advice they need when their loved ones have been let down.
Helping Paul to help others on the road to recovery after brain injury
We’ve been delighted to support our company ambassador Paul Spence throughout the year, and crucially helping him to achieve his ultimate goal of opening up a drop-in, community support centre in Hull for people recovering from brain injuries.
The PAUL For Brain Recovery Centre offers a truly community-based support service, based in the Wilberforce Health Centre, Story Street, Hull.
Paul’s own amazing personal story of recovery, and his achievement in opening the centre to help others, was featured on Sky News after our team at Hudgell Solicitors spread the word about the great work he is doing.
Whether brain injury victims are on the first step of a long road to recovery, or coming out the other end and looking for their next challenge in life, the centre aims to accommodate and support all, offering state-of-the-art equipment to provide activities for both body and mind.
We’ve been delighted to be at Paul’s side throughout his journey, and having Paul alongside us to provide one-to-one advice and mentoring to those who turn to us after suffering a brain injury is unique.
It has been wonderful to see Paul achieve so much in 2016, and equally, those we have supported benefit from Paul’s support.
Monitoring for Mums – a campaign to reduce unacceptable rates of stillbirth and injuries
Our team were delighted to attend and support the launch of the new ‘Monitoring for Mums’ Appeal by national mother and baby charity Baby Lifeline at its 35th anniversary gala dinner in London.
Our work in supporting families who suffer as a result of birth negligence brings us into contact with far too many people who go through the trauma of lives been needlessly lost or babies being born severely impaired, often because of poor monitoring equipment in hospitals or maternity staff not being fully trained in using the equipment effectively.
This campaign, which seeks to improve both equipment and training on UK hospital wards, comes as the Government is working towards a target of halving the number of stillbirths, neonatal and maternal deaths and brain injuries in babies by 2030, with a 20 per cent reduction by 2020.
Recent research by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) claimed between 500 and 800 babies die or acquire severe brain injuries due to something going wrong during labour each year in the UK – more than one a day.
That is simply unacceptable, and the Baby Lifeline campaign, which is calling for standardised in-house hospital maternity training across the UK, and aims to raise £4.5m for new equipment, is one we whole-heartedly support.
Up and running for good causes – Hudgell helps Humber Bridge Half Marathon reach new heights
2016 marked the first year of a three-year sponsorship of the Humber Bridge Half Marathon – and what a success it was.
A record number of more than 2,200 runners signed up for the event, with a fantastic atmosphere amongst runners making for a truly memorable day.
Most importantly, three charity partners, The Butterflies Memory Loss Support Group, Hull and East Yorkshire Mind and The Brain Tumour Charity, each received donations of £5,000 raised from the event.
We now look forward to 2017 – as entries are now open – and hopefully another record turnout for the event as Hull celebrates its year as UK City of Culture.
Switch Off – a campaign against the mobile madness on the UK’s roads
The devastation caused to lives by avoidable road traffic accidents is something we see on a daily basis in our personal injury team at Hudgell Solicitors, and this was the driving force behind a campaign to tackle a modern day menace on the roads in November.
Supporting the national Road Safety Week, which is spearheaded by national road safety charity Brake, we worked on projects supported by both Road Safety GB and The Brain Injury Group to spread the safety message.
Using hard-hitting images depicting the devastation caused in accidents, our ‘Switch Off’ campaign, supported by Road Safety GB, won widespread praise for highlighting the dangers of using a mobile phone behind the wheel – an offence which research shows drivers want to see tackled by greater punishments, but one many still admit to committing in recent times.
Working with the Brain Injury Group, our team, including Group Head of Legal Practice Amanda Stevens, went into schools in Hull and Guildford to discuss road safety with young children, and how they and their families could make roads safer for all.
Playing our part in celebrating our home city’s success, past and future
In many ways 2016 has been a year of anticipation in our home city of Hull, where the company was formed by managing director Neil Hudgell in 1997, and has since has expanded to become a nationally recognised brand.
2017 is Hull’s time to shine, as the official UK City of Culture.
It is something we at Hudgell Solicitors are hugely proud of, and as 2017 business club members for the year, we look forward to the rest of the UK, and hopefully the world, learning much more about Hull, its many significant past contributions to the UK, and the huge role it can play in the future as a leader in areas such as digital technology and renewables. It is a time to change wrong perceptions.
This year we also helped support the Amy Johnson Festival in the city, marking the 75th anniversary of her death by sponsoring one of many ‘moths’ which appeared on a trail around the city.
Amy’s inspirational story is just one of many this great city has to tell.
We are very proud of our roots – and as the 2017 team have been saying – it’s ‘back to ours’ for the next 12 months.