015 Peter Garsden – survivors’ champion
Peter Garsden is the senior partner at Abney Garsden solicitors. He is my guest this week. We discuss the changing landscape for survivors since he set up the Child Abuse Department in 1994 which he is head of and is now the largest dedicated Abuse compensation department in the country. Their U.K. helpline is 0845 604 7075, visit their website.
Peter gives his opinion on the recent celebrity abuse accusations and offers advice and support for survivors who are either seeking legal advice or those who are still struggling with their past experiences.
Peter was recently awarded Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year at the Manchester Legal Awards.
Since 1996 Peter has been Lead Solicitor in over 25 different Group Actions involving over 1000 Claimants, including the largest award achieved in the area of Child Abuse Groups of £2.3million on behalf of 165 Claimants who were abused at homes managed by Manchester City Council.
In 1997 Peter helped to set up ACAL (Association of Child Abuse Lawyers), a Claimant based organisation of compensation abuse lawyers dedicated to raising the standards of advice through training and support, of which he is now President.
Secondly I discuss the lack of opportunities social workers have to reflect on their practice. This can damage their emotional or mental health. The sad result of higher case loads and staff vacancies in some departments is that the emotional well being of the worker is often considered second best. This is not necessarily deliberate but when there are competing requirements it is often the practical tasks and statutory obligations that over rule finding time to deal with the emotional health of the worker.