In January 2017 Dr Jasjot Singhota, 30, was on her way to work at St Thomas’ Hospital in Lambeth, as she crossed the road on a pedestrian crossing on Tulse Hill she was struck by a Ford Fiesta. The driver of the car had set off earlier without defrosting the windscreen.
Jasjot suffered a traumatic brain injury and died the next day.
The driver claimed that because his windscreen was covered in frost he could not see Jasjot on the crossing.
Had he have just taken the two minutes or less to make sure that the glass areas of the car were clear of frost then Jasjot may be alive today.
It takes less than a few minutes to clear a car or van window and yet some people make a conscious decision not to do it.
It may be reckless bravado or the thought of “it’ll never happen to me” but if it does happen the consequences can be tragic, as proven in Jasjot’s death.
No one should have to go through the pain of loss and grief, and certainly not because of such a simple omission.
Jasjot’s family have teamed up with the Metropolitan Police’s Command for Roads and Transport Policing and are campaigning to make motorists think twice before starting their journeys. More details of the campaign can be found by here or on twitter under #readyfortheroad
Jasjot’s sister Neha Santasolo has a clear message. “People won’t drive with their eyes closed so why do it when you can’t see out of the windscreen?”
Jasjot’s death continues to impact the family’s lives every single day
Jasjot had dedicated her life to helping others. Before working at St Thomas’ Hospital in Lambeth she had volunteered in children’s hospitals in New Zealand.
Even after her death, she saved five lives through organ donation.
The Royal College of Anaesthetists have set up a bursary in her memory.
Are You Ready For The Road?
With the cold weather upon us it will not be long before we have to reach for the de-icer spray or the ice scraper before turning a wheel and so please make sure that you have cleared your windows and windscreen before setting off.
Please spread the word, share the hashtag #readyfortheroad and think before you drive.
On Monday 2nd December, Tollers marked the beginning of Christmas festivities with the annual Christmas Bake Off in aid of our Charity of the Year, Secondary 1st. Secondary 1st is a charity, based in London, which funds research into the prevention, diagnosis and causes of secondary breast cancer.
To raise money for this brilliant cause, staff in our Northampton, Milton Keynes and Corby offices took to their kitchens, lined their baking tins, and created some festive tasty treats. This year came with a fantastic turnout and fierce competition, with chocolate brownies, ginger cupcakes and snowball cheesecakes being amongst the bakes!
Once all the bakes were lined up (and a few hours had passed for those who did not fancy cake for breakfast), the judging began with the bakes being scored on several different categories, including creativity, taste and festiveness. Once the judging was complete, there was a bake sale where staff could enjoy the festive treats, with all donations going to Secondary 1st. Needless to say, there were some pretty full plates coming out of the kitchen that day so that everyone could try as many different bakes as possible.
Tollers Christmas Bake Off 2019
That afternoon, the first round of winners were announced. In our Northampton Office, conveyancing assistant Alex Gill took the crown by a measly half a point! In Milton Keynes, personal assistant Claire Davies won with her delicious brownies, and one of our newest trainee solicitors Emma Blacow satisfied the judge’s chocolate cravings with her chocoholic crispy cakes in Corby.
The scoresheets and photos were then compared by our independent committee, who were delighted to announce today that our Bake Off 2019 winner is Alex Gill! She now takes the coveted Bake Off trophy and is already making plans for next year in an attempt to retain her title.
We hope you enjoy the wonderful photos of the bakes from this year and cannot wait to see our bakers’ creations next December!
THEY DID IT!!!
Last week saw 3 of our Legal Eagles swap their wings for wheels. Roger Reed, Tristan Benson and Duncan Nicholson rode from London to Paris to raise funds for Cransley Hospice Trust. Giving back to those that support us, whether through volunteering, fundraising or providing support is very important to Tollers. If you follow our Social Media accounts you will already be aware of the journey, we received a tremendous amount of support and encouragement, the riders felt like the whole community was behind them!
Duncan Nicholson, the Firm’s Managing Partner said “At Tollers we take our corporate responsibility very seriously, we work hard to ensure we are engaged with and working in partnership with the local communities we serve and one of the ways we do this is by working with a number of locally based charities across our geographies”.
With this in mind on Wednesday 10 July 2019, three solicitors from Tollers Solicitors set off to ride from London to Paris, a distance of 300 miles, with the aim of completing the challenge in less than 48 hours in order to raise much needed funds for local Northamptonshire based charity Cransley Hospice.
It is not common to ride the route in 48 hours. Ordinarily organisers of London to Paris cycle challenges plan for them to take place over 3 or even 4 days, but the Tollers trio where determined to cover the combined 900 miles in this timeframe.
The Three intrepid cyclists Roger Reed (from the Personal Injury Department), Duncan Nicholson (Managing Partner of the firm) and Tristan Benson (Head of the Dispute Resolution Team) were more than up for the challenge having trained hard over the last few months, with many lunchtime rides, cycling events and sportifs under their belts.
All Funds Raised Go To Cransley Hospice
The ride was 100% funded and planned by the firm, so that every single penny raised will go to Cransley Hospice. The local hospice, based in Kettering, provides specialist care for patients with life limiting illnesses and as with many charities of this nature Cransley simply could not operate without the help of donations from the public.
The team where up bright and early on the first morning to start the ‘Tour De Tollers’ and set off from London’s O2 arena at 5am. They made good progress, with only a small Garmin problem at the beginning resulting in a few minor delays negotiating their way out of London. They arrived in Dover at 12.30, where they loaded their bikes onto their support vehicle and boarded the ferry. During the crossing they had the opportunity to refuel and review the French route, as well as have a well-deserved break. On arrival in Calais they jumped back on their bikes to continue their journey to Hesdin, in Northern France, and arrived at their overnight stop at 9.45pm. Following some refreshments they retired for the night for a well-earned rest after the first day of their mammoth trek, having covered 150 miles.
The following morning the cycling trio were up early to embark on the final 150 mile leg of their journey to Paris. After a hearty breakfast to fuel them on their way, they left Hesdin at 8.10am. The weather on the day was a blistering 31 degrees and despite some issues ensuring they stayed hydrated in the heat, the team made good progress finally arriving at the iconic Arc De Triomphe at 9.30pm.
Tour De Tollers Cycling Trio Raise Vital Funds For Local Charity
Having shattered their 48 hour target, riding the 300 miles in around 39 hours, the team are now taking a well-earned rest before they get back in the saddle. To date they have raised over £4000 against their original target of £3000, with donations continuing to come in. The team are delighted that their efforts will make such a significant contribution to the hospice and the vital support they provide.
Roger Reed, said of their effort “We made it to Paris and beat our target! At times when our muscles ached we put things back in perspective and reminded ourselves of the reason why we were doing the ride. Cransley Hospice provides an invaluable service to the community and the sponsorship we received will help them maintain the highest levels of care and treatment for their patients and their families. We have been overwhelmed by people’s generosity and so grateful for all the support we received. We would like to express our thanks to everyone who followed our progress, sponsored us and supported us on our journey’.
The Firm are extremely proud of the team’s achievement and can’t wait to see what this intrepid trio plan next…
If you would like to show your support, donations can be made via the teams Just Giving Page.
Another successful meeting of local business people was held at the King William Pub in Kempston.
It is surprising how many businesses there are in Kempston and the surrounding areas. Through our coffee mornings, which we have been hosting since 2017, we have become acquainted with local business people who have in turn become acquainted with each other. Our group has grown and hopefully will continue to grow as does Kempston. There is so much new development in the area, not only housing development but industry too.
We are fortunate to be supported by the Mayor of Kempston, Carl Meader and Councillor Kay Burley, both of whom are very prominent in Kempston town.
Martin Quince is publisher of the local news magazine “Kempston Calling”. This is a free monthly publication and is an invaluable source of information and news in the area.
Our friends from the Bedford Daycare Hospice are also regular attendees and we continue to support them and have recently raised £1,989 for the charity from a very successful “Make a Will” campaign.
Our very good neighbour Pippa Wilkinson from A.L. & G. Abbott Funeral Directors is always happy to support our events. The firm is possibly one of the oldest businesses in Kempston, having been established in 1870 by the “Abbott” family.
Also attending this event were:-
Leanne Benson from Aston Charles Estate Agents
Mark Ireland of Lyndhurst Financial Management
Paul Kamlesh of CopyBox
Adrian Spurrell of The Red Thread Partnership
Yvonne Prudham from Bedfordshire Registration Service
Ryan and Bim from Shires Funerals
Sue Wilson – Bedford Health
Julia Brightman – Crème Brew Lait
Other regular Attendees and supporters are AgeUK Bedfordshire; James Kendall Estate Agents; Castle Maintenance; RVT;
Of course, we would like to thank Jo, Landlady of the King William IV for providing us with a venue and fabulous coffee.
Cathy Eaton from Tollers Solicitors Kempston, had great pleasure to hand over a cheque for £1,989 to the Bedford DayCare Hospice. The money was raised during a ‘Free Will Week’ when Tollers prepared Wills in exchange for donations to the Hospice.
About The Hospice
Bedford Daycare Hospice is an independent charity working with other organisations and provides care for those with a life limiting illness in Mid and North Bedfordshire. The Hospice was founded in 1992 and has helped hundreds of people with cancer and other life limiting illnesses and their families and carers. The demand for this kind of service continues to grow and for this reason Tollers have been happy to assist with their fundraising for a second year.
The Hospice very much relies on the financial support and generosity of the people in the community, it is how they are able to continue to deliver such a unique service to the highest standard.
They offer respite care, counselling and psychological care. There are complimentary therapies available which include: Reiki, massage, facials, manicures. These services (amongst many others) are invaluable for patients with life limiting illness or who are in remission from disease and need help to re-build confidence. Above all the hospice provides emotional support not only to patients but to their families and carers.
Cathy Eaton says: “Illness affects us all at some time in our lives and it is important that as a community we all do what we can to ensure that there will always be the help and support there when we need it.” Tollers have been happy to support Bedford DayCare Hospice and will continue to do so in the future.
The Hospice have many fund-raising events in the calendar for the year, from Coffee Mornings, Black Tie events, Quiz nights, Curry Evenings and many, many more. Keep your eye out – there is something for everyone! The Bedford Daycare Hospice event calendar can be found here.
Tollers is proud to announce its new Charity of the Year, Secondary1st…
The mission of Secondary1st is to help fund research into the prevention, diagnosis and causes of secondary breast cancer and the development of more effective treatments.
In the UK, around 11,500 people lose their lives to secondary breast cancer each year and there is no cure. Therefore, more research funding to better understand and then treat the disease is vital.
Secondary1st was founded by the family of a young London lawyer who lost her life in 2015 to secondary breast cancer. They observed that most of the funds raised by cancer charities goes towards research into primary cancers, not secondary, and set about addressing that.
Putting Secondary Breast Cancer First
Tollers’ link with Secondary1st is through our colleague Alex Gill, from our Northampton Conveyancing team. Very sadly, Alex’s sister Charlie passed away on the 29th September 2018 just 5 days after her 40th birthday and only 18 months after her initial diagnosis. Charlie was a Licensed Conveyancer who throughout her career had worked at many local law firms, including Tollers, before moving to a law firm in London 6 years ago. Alex was an inspiration to many of her colleagues when she ran the 2018 London Marathon to raise funds for cancer charities that had supported her sister Charlie throughout her illness.
Duncan Nicholson, Managing Partner said ‘Tollers is proud to support Secondary1st. All 8 of our offices will be supporting them in the coming year and we look forward to making a difference through our fundraising.’
Secondary breast cancer is breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body (such as the liver, lungs, bones or brain). This is called a ‘secondary tumour’ and the tumour consists of breast cancer cells. It is sometimes described as a metastatic tumour.
Further information about the charity and their work is available at https://www.secondary1st.org.uk/
Tollers Solicitors chose Age UK Bedfordshire, Age UK Milton Keynes, Age UK Northamptonshire and Age Concern Stevenage who have centres that are local to our offices, as our Charities of the Year from April 2018 – March 2019.
Age UK local centres provide support for older people and their families, including Lunch and Tea Clubs throughout the county. Their services are designed to give older people a place to meet with others in a similar situation. With loneliness amongst the elderly an increasing concern, events such as these are important within communities and we have been proud to support them for the last year.
Tollers’ staff held many activities during the year, ranging from guessing how many Easter eggs are in the jar and Friday dress-down days to baking cakes for an Ascot Ladies Day event and helping in a tea-tent!
We are delighted to have raised over £2,400 and these are a few of our stories…
Volunteering at Age UK Milton Keynes
In June 2018 and January 2019, volunteers from Tollers solicitors put on their pinnies to assist with the lunch club at Age UK Milton Keynes’ Peartree Centre. The lunch clubs are run every Monday and Wednesday. Visitors arrive at 10am and are greeted with tea/coffee and there is lots of chat. This is followed by puzzles and bingo, then lunch. All our volunteers found the morning to be a very rewarding experience.
20th Anniversary Celebrations at Age UK Northamptonshire…
During November 2018, 16 volunteers from Tollers Solicitors supported Age UK Northamptonshire with their 20th anniversary celebrations at the Venton Centre in Northampton. Our volunteers welcomed clients, made drinks and helped with activities including quizzes and ‘Rummikub’. Lunch was then served in the dining room. Each afternoon there was a wonderful sing-a-long, with numbers such as ‘We’ll Meet Again’ and ‘My Old Man Said Follow The Van’. In the true spirit of the Venton Centre, this was followed in the afternoon by tea and cake.
Fern Upton, Age UK Northamptonshire’s Service Manager said “Thank you so much for volunteering – it makes a big difference”.
Having a clear-out…
During April and October, Tollers staff had a ‘clear-out’ and were delighted to deliver a large number of sacks of clothing and bric-a-brac for Age UK Northamptonshire and Age UK Milton Keynes’s charity shops.
Ready steady bake!
Bake sales are a regular occurrence at Tollers and the highlight of the baking year was the Tollers’ Christmas Bake-Off. There were some fantastic creations and the winner was Jane Owers, Receptionist, Northampton office for her festive cup cakes.
And finally… Delivering some Christmas cheer
Tollers’ staff were proud to donate and deliver Christmas presents to Age UK Northamptonshire Christmas parties at The Venton Centre in Northampton and The Four Seasons Day Centre in Kettering. We also delivered food items to Age UK Milton Keynes for their food hampers.
January can be a long month for all of us, what with the come down from the Christmas festivities and the cold weather becoming even colder. It was for these reasons that Tollers trainee solicitors Robert, Gabriella, Kainat and Becki, along with our Milton Keynes based Trusts and Estates Partner Gary Kiely, decided that this would be the perfect time to go and lend a hand at one of the lunch clubs run by Age UK Milton Keynes at their Peartree Centre.
The lunch clubs are run every Monday and Wednesday at the centre and are specifically designed to give those over 65 who have recently lost their partner, a place to meet with others in a similar situation. With loneliness amongst the elderly on the rise, events such as these are vitally important.
Tollers Volunteer at Age UK Milton Keynes
The day started when the visitors arrived at 10am, with our volunteers helping them to their tables, serving them tea and coffee and having a chat. Gary was collared by two ladies and sat sandwiched between them for most of the morning. One of the ladies had a son called Gary too and the other was explaining to Gary what it was like growing up in Manchester after he’d noticed a twang in her accent.
Once everyone was settled with their tea and biscuits, the regular volunteers got the bingo started, with some of our volunteers offering a helping hand to some of the visitors. It’s difficult to say who had more fun – the visitors or our volunteers.
After a few very tense games of bingo, Gary and Robert brought out a trolley laden with raffle prizes and entertained the visitors, whilst Gabriella, Kainat and Becki started to get ready to serve lunch. The eagerly anticipated menu for the day was gammon and pineapple, followed by apple pie and custard. This seemed to go down really well – very little plate scraping was needed afterwards.
At the end of a fun day for all, it was time to help the visitors back to their transport so they could relax after a full-on morning. This gave our team time to reflect on the day with the regular volunteers, who were full of praise for the way we had got involved with all the visitors. All our volunteers agreed afterwards that the morning had been a truly rewarding experience.
Sharon Brown, Trusts and Estates Solicitor based at our Stevenage office and her partner Harry Johnson were delighted to go home with the Glitter Ball following Garden House Hospice’s first Strictly Jive & Swing event.
The judging panel featured John Procter, Chair of Trustees at the Hospice, Stevenage Mayor Margaret Notley, Nick Gill Editor of The Comet and Miss Hertfordshire Kate Gee-Finch. The event was hosted by Joseph Sewell of JiveSwing, who provided the contestants with 6 weeks of tuition as part of the event. Other contestants included Dr Sarah Bell who is the medical director at the Hospice and her husband Reverend Terrance Bell, Jessica Carter and Harry Folgate who is as a fundraiser for the Hospice and local business people Katie Simmons, Claire Harding, Patricia Ling and Simon Lloyd, and Caroline Mayo who is a patient of the Hospice with her dance partner Graham from JiveSwing.
The competition was very close throughout the evening, but Sharon and Harry were awarded four 10’s from the judges with particular praise for the number of lifts they managed to squeeze into their routine. Sharon even managed to lift Harry at one point! It was then the turn of the audience to vote for their favourite acts, and the two sets of scores combined led to Sharon and Harry being crowned the winners.
Sharon said: “Every performer on the night was worthy of winning and we were so surprised when the announcement was made. There was a real sense of camaraderie between the dancers all the way through, and the audience were on great form on the night, clapping along and showing support. We have managed to raise nearly £2,000 in sponsorship and ticket sales, and the event overall looks to have already raised over £7,000 which is a fantastic achievement.”
It’s not too late to donate click here.
Tollers are long-standing supporters of Garden House Hospice, who provide an important role to the local community. Not only do they provide palliative care, they also offer a number of complimentary therapies to patients and counselling and support for the relatives of patients. You can find out more about Garden House Hospice by clicking here.
20th Anniversary Celebrations…
During the week commencing 5 November 2018, 16 volunteers from Tollers Solicitors supported Age UK Northamptonshire with their 20th anniversary celebrations at the Venton Centre in Northampton. The centre was opened by Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother on 4th November 1998.
Our volunteers started the day welcoming clients and making drinks. There were a number of morning activities each day, including quizzes and ‘Rummikub’. Lunch was then served in the dining room. Each afternoon there was a wonderful sing-a-long, with numbers such as ‘We’ll Meet Again’ and ‘My Old Man Said Follow The Van’. In the true spirit of the Venton Centre, this was followed in the afternoon by tea and cake.
Getting Involved In Our Communities
On Thursday afternoon, there was a visit from the Mayor of Northampton: Cllr Tony Ansell who presented flowers to Age UK Northamptonshire President Anne Goodman. The celebration cake was then cut and enjoyed by clients, staff and volunteers alike.
Getting Involved In Our Communities
Fern Upton, Age UK Northamptonshire’s Service Manager said “Thank you so much for volunteering – it makes a big difference”.
Mandy Stark, Tollers’ Partner and Head of Residential Conveyancing, said “It was a wonderful experience and the day visitors (‘clients’) are truly amazing”.
Cherryl Law, Tollers’ Legal Manager said “The smiles on all of the faces, and Daisy’s dancing, were beautiful”.
Getting Involved In Our Communities
During October, Tollers staff had an ‘autumn clear-out’ and were delighted to deliver a large number of sacks of clothing and bric-a-brac for Age UK Northamptonshire’s charity shops.
Age UK Northamptonshire provides support for older people and their families, including Lunch and Tea Clubs throughout the county.
Tollers has chosen Age UK Bedfordshire, Age UK Milton Keynes, Age UK Northamptonshire and Age Concern Stevenage who have centres that are local to our offices, as our Charities of the Year from April 2018.