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As one of the UK’s best known PPI claims management firms, Gladstone Brookes have successfully recovered more than £650 million for consumers since 2007. They are a founder member of the Professional Financial Claims Association and actively participate in all its activities to ensure consumer detriment issues are addressed. They are also actively involved in a commitment to charity and community work.

Charity commitment

Gladstone Brookes (GB) take pride in helping those less fortunate than others by supporting a wide range of charities, both national and local. By working with charities and the local community they can make a bigger impact together.

As well as choosing a different charity each month to help with a donation from a dress-down policy, they have a long-standing association with the Warrington Wolves Charitable Foundation.

Patrons – Warrington Wolves Charitable Foundation

As Foundation patrons, GB have joined them in a special disability awareness scheme in which GB staff were trained in disability awareness before taking their skills out into the community and passing them on to others. Now in its fifth year, the scheme goes from strength to strength. This year, as well as continuing its close connection with the children of St Gregory’s High School, staff are joining the Foundation in a number of other Warrington schools to introduce them to a range of sports. Teams from the schools will then be invited to a Rio Paralympics style event in the summer.

Special relationship – Adrian Derbyshire

Gladstone Brookes also has a very special relationship with disabled fencing champion Adrian Derbyshire as the main sponsor for his national anti-bullying and hate crime campaign.

Adrian has spent almost two years speaking to over 58,000 children and young adults in schools and colleges all over the country and addressing another 100,000 in open air events and outreach programmes to get his message over.

Marathon tour

In September 2014 Adrian started a marathon tour of the UK on a specially designed hand-cycle – a trip which grew out of a planned four week campaign covering 1,000 miles, speaking to local schools and colleges.

But by the half-way stage it had grown from four weeks to six months and then to nine months and Adrian had already hand-cycled over 1,700 miles with more invitations for more talks and more visits pouring in all the time.

Important message

Said Adrian: “It started as a four week tour and now it’s taken over my life. I knew that the message was important, but I had no idea how many people are affected by hate crime and bullying on a daily basis. These people are experiencing real suffering and it’s important that we do something about it.”

As news of his epic trip spread, Adrian was invited to 10 Downing Street by Prime Minister David Cameron for a briefing on the scheme. A few weeks later the Prime Minister recognised the importance of Adrian’s message and campaign by giving him a special Point Of Light Award which recognises outstanding individuals who make a change in their community and inspire others.

Tragedy

Tragedy struck in October last year when Adrian’s 16-year-old daughter Julia collapsed and died at his home. Julia had returned to the UK a year earlier after a difficult time living with her mother in America, but Adrian did not know how deeply that time had affected her.

Julia had become a big part of the anti-bullying and hate crime campaign, helping her Dad to spread the word. However, what Adrian didn’t know was that Julia had been leading a double life, frequenting websites which promote teenage self-harming and suicide.

#SASSY

He only learned about this side of Julia’s life after her death and has vowed that her memory will live on in an extension to his campaign, specifically aimed at teenage self-harm and suicide under the hash tag #SASSY (Support Against Self-harm & Suicide in Youth).

Said Adrian: “The Julia Derbyshire Campaign will become an integral part of what I do in future, keeping her name alive, warning children and young people of the dangers and providing support for other families who have gone through something like this. “From my own experience there is certainly a lack of a support network for teens and the pressures they face on line. We have to do something about it.”

Community outreach

Adrian’s latest initiative is to re-launch his community outreach programme, taking his campaign on the road to speak to people in shopping malls and other outlets to get his message across to the man or woman in the street who may not hear it otherwise. Said Adrian: “The success of community outreach last year was overwhelming. It’s a huge part of the campaign and people are asking for it all across the country. We are re-launching in Golden Square, Warrington, because they have given me tremendous backing and identify strongly with the campaign and what it means to their customers.”

Volunteers

Adrian will have a lot more help this year with an army of new young teenage volunteers, many of who have been inspired after hearing him speak and others who were friends of his daughter, Julia.

“They have all volunteered their services in getting the campaign message over and will have an important role moving forward because they will be inspiring their peers and talking their kind of language,” he added.

Gladstone Brookes will continue its charity and community work and update on Adrian’s progress.