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Survivor of abuse at Shirley Oaks Children’s Home awarded £125,000 by the Lambeth Redress Scheme

A 68-year-old woman has been awarded £125,000 by the Lambeth Children’s Homes Redress Scheme for the abuse and cruelty she experienced at Shirley Oaks Children’s Home during the 1950s and 60s.

16 June 2020

The Lambeth Children’s Homes Redress Scheme was set up by Lambeth Borough Council and opened to applications on 1 January, 2018.
 
The Scheme will remain open until 1 January, 2022 to applicants who are former residents of Lambeth-run Children’s Homes who experienced abuse and/or lived in fear of abuse, cruelty or neglect. As of June, 2019, the Scheme had paid out over £16 million in redress compensation to more than 1,250 applicants.
 
The abuse team at Leigh Day has represented a number of applicants to the Lambeth Redress Scheme, some of whom have received damages awards at or above the Scheme’s cap of £125,000.
 
We estimate that to date we have recovered over £800,000 in damages for our clients. We have also assisted some of our clients to access the non-financial forms of Redress available through the Scheme, which include letters of apology, remote counselling and other support.
 
Our client lived at Shirley Oaks Children’s Home from the age of three until she left at the age of 10. She was regularly punched in the head by staff as a punishment for talking at dinner, as well as being subjected to the general regime of cruelty in the home. She began to suffer hearing loss around this time and has had severe difficulties with her hearing for the majority of her life.
 
Following the receipt of two medical reports from a consultant psychiatrist and a hearing loss expert, our client’s hearing loss and adult mental health issues were found to be primarily attributable to the abuse she experienced at Shirley Oaks.
 
Due to her hearing loss, our client was assisted throughout her claim by her husband, who said:
 
“We think Leigh Day have done a wonderful job, you were on top of the case and kept us informed. We could ask for no more from our solicitors.”
 
Alison Millar, head of the abuse team at Leigh Day, said:
 
“We are pleased to have been able to recover an award of £125,000 in compensation for our client, who experienced shocking mistreatment at Shirley Oaks from a very young age in an environment where she should have been cared for and safe.
 
“I hope that the outcome of my client’s application has provided some acknowledgement and recognition for her of the devastating impact that the abuse has had on her life.”

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