Lawyers from The Family Law Company donned their running gear to support a crucial Plymouth charity.
Anne Shears and Carrie Laws, based at the firm’s Plymouth office, took part in the Classic Quarter, a 44-mile coastal run from the Lizard to Land’s End to raise funds for the Plymouth Parent Advocacy Project.
Anne and Carrie split the run with Peter Ash of Nash & Co and Bill Wilkins from Stephens Scown. Between them, the ladies ran the first two sections from the Lizard to Perranuthnoe whilst the men ran the final two legs to Land’s End. Their time of 9 hours and 42 minutes put them in fifty-seventh place in the ‘Relay 4’ category.
Carrie said: “It was an amazing experience – truly terrible weather but a fantastic achievement for such a worthy cause.”
The team aims to raise £1,000 from the run, which will be added to funds of over £1,260 already raised by Carrie after she took part in the London Marathon earlier this year. She explained:
“The week before I was due to run the London Marathon I discovered that the project, which supports learning disabled and vulnerable parents, was struggling financially from squeezed funding and budgets cut. I decided to raise money to help.”
Plymouth Parent Advocacy Project is run by Plymouth Highbury Trust. Its support is often the deciding factor when parents are assessed in relation to their capacity to instruct solicitors and conduct proceedings relating to their children.
Parent Project Manager, Kate Cowling said: “Despite evidence to the contrary, the popular view persists that people with learning disabilities do not make good parents. As a result, parents with learning disabilities face high levels of professional surveillance, driven by the assumption that if you have a learning disability you simply cannot be a good mother or father.
“Parents with learning disabilities still feel that systems and services are set up for them fail, rather than to be supported. The result is that people with learning disabilities are fifty times more likely than other parents to be involved in care proceedings.”
To provide ongoing support for the project, Carrie has joined forces with others from the legal community - Peter Ash of Nash & Co, Laura Geach from Wolferstans and Andrew Wonnacott from GA Solicitors - to form a committee to organise fundraising events. The first is a ‘Fall Ball’ at the New Continental Hotel in Plymouth on September 22. Tickets cost just £20 and are available from the committee members.
“The project benefits many vulnerable adults, giving them a fighting chance of understanding and involvement in complex proceedings. Without it, many would struggle with the child protection and court process,” Carrie added.