Longford Prize Winner: Audrey Edwards
11th July 2002
On November 27 1994 Audrey Edwards’s mentally-ill son, Christopher was murdered by his cellmate, a paranoid schizophrenic, in Chelmsford Prison. Audrey and her husband Paul began a quest to find out what happened to him which has developed into a campaign to improve mental health care for offenders. The judges were greatly impressed by the courage with which Audrey Edwards had moved forward from personal tragedy to focus public attention on mental health and prisons.
The highly-commended runners-up were:
(1) Camilla Batmangelidjh who founded Kids Co in south London to work with the most disadvantaged youngsters and to make them feel valued in society. The judges admired her persistence, humanity and unorthodox approach.
(2) Chris Tchaikovsky and the group she founded Women in Prison which offers support, practical advice and referrals on subjects such as benefits, housing, education and substance misuse. Chris Tchaikovsky, herself an ex-prisoner, died in May 2002 and was, the judges believed, a passionate campaigner, unafraid to risk speak her mind even if it made her unpopular.
(3) Kalayaan, a small organization working for justice for migrant domestic workers in this country, which operates in an area of great human suffering and is often the only friend such people can turn to.
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