Yorkshire campaigner, Claire Throssell, has been honoured with the Yorkshire Choice Awards’ (YCAs) ‘Special Recognition Award’, following her admirable journey in changing the way the legal system handles domestic abuse and the family court process. Claire’s sons Jack, 12, and Paul, nine, were both tragically killed in a house fire deliberately started by her estranged husband in October 2014. The harrowing events devastated her and her family; however, she has shown remarkable bravery, by becoming an ambassador for Women’s Aid, the national charity working to end domestic abuse against women and children. Playing a pivotal part in the charity’s Child First campaign, Claire is working tirelessly to stop avoidable child deaths as a result of unsafe child contact with dangerous perpetrators of domestic violence.
Pic Credit: Robling Photography One part of that is making the family court process safer for women and children survivors of domestic abuse, and, in January 2019, there was a momentous breakthrough when the government published a draft of its domestic abuse bill, a move that will ban abusers from cross-examining victims in the court process. Claire’s story is one that resonated in the Yorkshire community and was also felt across the nation, a story that is beyond comprehension for most. The panel of Yorkshire Choice contributors, therefore, which included ITV Calendar News presenter, Christine Talbot, who was instrumental in the selection process, were both unanimous and privileged to honour the courageous achievements of Claire and the Child First campaign. Joint YCA Co-Founder, Melanie Malcolm, said: “Claire’s story is one that no parent should ever go through. She is an incredible lady, one that has shown immeasurable strength in her bid to change the way in which domestic abuse is handled in the courts, to ensure that the harrowing events that changed her life forever won’t be repeated again. “Therefore, on behalf of the judges, we are delighted to award Claire this recognition.” Joint YCA Co-Founder, Jo Maltby, added: “The Yorkshire Choice Awards celebrates achievement in Yorkshire, and in its fourth year, we are proud to have recognised the most inspirational individuals and businesses that our county has to offer. Being a ‘people’s choice awards’ shows that Yorkshire really does thrive on our community heroes, individuals like Claire.”
“Last night ....my goodness what a night....emotional, uplifting and humbling.
I'm stunned to say I won an Achievement Award - although I don't know which stunned me more ....winning or the sight of Andy Maguire stood on his chair cheering me on. Watching the montage of footage - thank you Christine Talbot I was thinking a lot of thoughts but the words running through my head were of a song performed earlier in the evening and that was let our loved ones souls shine a light through you.
So I will continue to keep Jack and Paul's light shining and be thankful for the joy and love they gave me. Thank you to everyone who brings their own light to my darkness.
After I received my award I could hear the Song Rise being performed and I just thought of how everyone came together to rebuild a house and made it rise like a Phoenix from the ashes which allowed me to kneel amongst them and fulfil a promise I made to my precious gentle boy who had the courage of a lion.
The more I fight for Children's lives and support survivors of Domestic Abuse the more Jack's voice roars.”
Claire Throssell – Yorkshire Choice, Special Recognition Award Winner 2019