Anna Bennett, Communications Manager
Tuesday 23 January 2024
Our work supporting public inquiries began with the creation of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) in 2015. We helped the IICSA to set itself up and later launch the Truth Project - an unprecedented effort to engage with victims and survivors of this terrible crime.
Since then we’ve supported many others, helping them to engage, communicate and build support at every stage of their life cycle - but we’ve always followed the progress of our first inquiry client closely.
Last year, after seven years of hearings and more than 6,000 accounts from victims and survivors through the Truth Project, the IICSA published its final report and ended its official business.
But that has not been the end of the story for campaigners and for many of those who were involved in the Inquiry. They now want the government to #ActOnIICSA and implement its recommendations at the earliest opportunity.
Currently, there is no mechanism or oversight body to monitor the government progress on implementing recommendations made by public inquiries. So Fay Maxted, CEO of The Survivors Trust, the UK’s largest umbrella organisation for rape and sexual abuse support services, who served on the IICSA’s victims’ consultative panel, and her colleague Lucy Duckworth, decided to bring together campaigners in Parliament last week to make the case for action.
They invited Crest to help them organise the event and we gladly accepted - offering, pro bono, the services of our public inquiries communications specialists Anna Bennett, John Milik and Sam Craigie. Our team helped the Survivors Trust to invite MPs and campaigners to the event, which was hosted by Jess Phillips MP, and plan and coordinate media.
Speakers included Home Secretary, the Rt Hon James Cleverly MP, and IICSA Chair Professor Alexis Jay CBE while the Rt Hon Theresa May MP, who established the IICSA as Home Secretary, before becoming Prime Minister, sent a video message
Other attendees included John O’Brien CBE, Secretary to the IICSA from 2015-2022, and now a senior associate at Crest Advisory working on our unique inquiries and reviews practice (more information is available here), Ivor Frank, IICSA Panel Member, and Deputy Chief Constable Ian Critchley, the National Police Chiefs Council lead on child protection.
Anna, John and Sam helped the Survivors Trust to identify and engage media and produce a press release for the event. You can see some of the media coverage here and read an account of the event on The Survivor’s Trust website here.
Crest is a committed partner to the public inquiries sector with experience of delivering trauma-informed communications and working with victims and survivors. We were proud to support the work of people we've worked alongside many years ago to turn their efforts into real change.
For more information about how we supported public inquiries and independent reviews please visit www.crestadvisory.com/inquiries