The Solicitors Charity CEO Nick Gallagher says
“It’s always good to see how your support for our charity allows us to help solicitors in times of need.
When solicitor Karen (not her real name) returned to Britain after she was badly injured in an horrific gun ambush in the Caribbean, she needed a lifeline to help rebuild her life.
The Solicitors’ Charity was that lifeline. She turned to them for support when she was finally well enough to start again and says the charity “brought back normality and gave me my independence.”
In 2018, Karen was working as a general solicitor in the Caribbean when she was shot eight times by two masked men. They attacked her one evening as she returned to the home she shared with her teenage son. Her injuries included damage to her spine and after many months’ hospital treatment, she slowly recovered but uses a wheelchair.
“My life changed completely,” she says.
“I needed care and we initially lived with my parents after I came out of hospital in Britain. I felt displaced and knew that I had to find a home for me and my son. It was a ‘now or never’ decision and so we rented an unfurnished bungalow,” she explained.
It was at that point The Solicitors’ Charity came to her aid. The support they provided paid for furniture, flooring, white goods, household bills and a laptop – and gave her access to a personal trainer and a gym which helped boost her recovery.
Throughout the COVID-19 lockdown, Karen home-schooled her son in their new home and he is now thriving at college.
Eventually, Karen felt ready to return to work and secured a job as a locum children’s safeguarding solicitor for a local authority – this has given her pride back and boosted her self-esteem. She is learning to live with the challenges of being a wheelchair user – from travel on public transport to entering court buildings, she faces many obstacles.
“I can’t thank The Solicitors’ Charity enough for all the support I received when I was at my lowest point,” she said. “I didn’t know what support was available and the charity stepped forward to help when I needed it most.
“Without the financial assistance, I couldn’t have got to where I needed to get to. It took away the worry and the stress and played a major part in my recovery.
“My life had been thrown up in the air and the charity underpinned my stability as I found my independence.”
Karen is working, looking after herself and her son, with “as little fuss as possible” but she says the staff at The Solicitors’ Charity have been there to talk and support her throughout.
She praises her case worker at the charity who was so supportive when she really needed a helping hand.
“She was always there at the end of the phone when I needed to talk – and I was delighted to call and tell her when I eventually got my job!”
“The support gave us a home, it gave my son his mum back – it brought us the normality that most people take for granted. Without The Solicitors’Charity, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”
The Solicitors’ Charity understands the importance of physical, emotional, financial and professional wellbeing and can help solicitors to access services and funding.
*We change the names & images of our beneficiaries to protect their identity