Tuesday 28th May

Who cares?: Justice and Campaigning for Human Rights in the Care System
Venue: The Women's Organisation, 54 St James St, L1 0AB
Time: 6pm (Doors at 5.30pm)
Tickets: £8/£4 (Students/Over 60s/Unemployed)

The respect of life and dignity of people with learning disabilities at the hands of the state is in peril.

This event brings together Sara Ryan, Mark Neary and Deborah Coles - three riveting authors and leading lights of campaigns promoting the rights to life and dignity of people with learning disabilities when they are detained, often unlawfully, at the hands of the state.

On July 4th 2013, 18 year old Connor Sparrowhawk, also known as Laughing Boy or LB, was found dead in a specialist NHS unit. Connor, who had autism and epilepsy, had a seizure while in the bath and no member of staff was on hand to stop him from drowning. Later inquests found that Connor’s was an entirely preventable death.

In her book ‘Justice for Laughing Boy: Connor Sparrowhawk - A death by indifference’  Sara Ryan, Connors mum, presents a frank, sometimes funny and touching account of her son's early life and preventable death and the unfolding #JusticeforLB campaign.  Her book serves as a wake-up call to all of us and asks: ‘can we really claim that we respect the life and dignity of learning disabled people?’

Steven Neary, a young man with learning disabilities and autism was unlawfully detained in an assessment and treatment unit for a year. After a legal and public campaign led by his dad Mark Neary, Steven came home and started to build a life that works for him. Mark’s books; There's Always Something or Other With Mr Neary (2013), Get Steven Home (2011), and Steven Neary’s Tips For A Good Life (2018) describe  the legal and public battle to help Steven escape from detention and goes on to reveal Steven’s wisdom and humour whilst he set about constructing his now fulfilling life.

Deborah Coles is the executive director of INQUEST, and has worked for the charity since 1989.Deborah has considerable expertise in working to prevent death and ill treatment in all forms of detention including the types of state institutions that Connor and Stephen were detained in. Deborah has authored various books including ‘In the Care of the State?: Child Deaths in Penal Custody in England and Wales’  and ‘Still Dying on the Inside: Examining Women's Deaths in Prison (2018)
In partnership with Advance PSS.


See the calendar here

For any problems booking tickets or ticketing queries email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone the box office during opening hours on 0344 8000410. The Call centre is open 9am - 9pm Monday - Saturday and 10-5 Sundays and bank holidays.