The Birmingham-based 4WardEver UK campaign and the Mikey Powell Campaign have launched a crowdfunding appeal for a national family support fund for relatives, young people and children affected by deaths in state custody in the UK.
The Memorial Family Fund has been set up in remembrance of Mikey Powell and acknowledges the work and campaigning of the late Pauline Campbell. It was launched on the twelfth anniversary of the death of Mikey Powell, who died on 7 September 2003 after being arrested by police in Birmingham. The Fund also aims to remember the tireless campaigning work of Pauline Campbell, who began campaigning after her daughter Sarah’s death in Styal prison in January 2003. She was one of a number of bereaved parents who turned her personal loss into sustained campaign action and protest. In May 2008, Pauline was found dead near the grave of her daughter.
The Fund has been developed by 4WardEver UK in conjunction with the Mikey Powell Campaign, the United Families and Friends Campaign and Migrant Media. It will be the first permanent national resource of its kind for those affected by deaths in custody, making small grants available for families and their campaign groups across the UK to provide practical domestic assistance, to further the work of their own campaigns or to assist them in engaging in other local, regional or national campaigns, events and initiatives. Funds would be available for promotional materials (banners, t-shirts, badges, business cards, etc); help with stationery, postal and related items or equipment; help towards travel costs to events, inquests or conferences; assistance towards the costs of counselling or therapy services or support with essential household provisions and bills.
Tippa Naphtali (cousin of Mikey Powell) said: ‘This fund will make a real difference for families and their campaign groups that need financial support during the often long and drawn out struggles for justice lasting for decades in many cases. The needs of affected families and children often get lost in the equally important work of campaigning and lobbying of state institutions. We want to change that with a permanent fund set up specifically for their needs.’
You can donate to the crowdfunding appeal here.