The Partners of QualitySolicitors Parkinson Wright nominated Suzanne Oldnall for an Honours Award for her services to Domestic Abuse Victims.
Suzanne was badly bullied as a child and as a result wanted to help other victims seek help to speak out and stop the abuse. She joined QualitySolicitors Parkinson Wright in October 1997 as a family law secretary. With her empathetic and sensitive approach to clients, Suzanne became a paralegal specializing in domestic abuse and is now the Head of the Domestic Abuse team.
In 2013, she was instrumental along with the partners of the firm in setting up a domestic abuse drop in centre.
This was the first drop in centre of its kind in Worcestershire and is a place where victims of domestic abuse can call in without an appointment and seek legal advice. No one is turned away and Suzanne has been able to help victims by obtaining emergency injunctions and non-molestation orders the same day.
Suzanne continually works alongside other agencies to raise awareness of domestic abuse and she was also involved with the Drive Project phase 2 which was carried out in the Worcestershire area by the Cranstoun Charity to re-educate perpetrators of domestic abuse.
She also operates an out of hours legal advice service during the festive period and sporting events which although not the cause of Domestic Abuse, the increased intake of alcohol coupled with intense emotions relating to these games means the likelihood of abuse is significantly increased.
N.B. The advice and assistance detailed in the above paragraph is entirely voluntary and in her own time.
She worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic which saw rates of domestic abuse soar. Victims were able to telephone for legal advice and emergency injunctions were obtained through the Courts remotely.
Whilst there are many firms offering victims of domestic abuse help and assistance, Suzanne has a reputation for not just helping victims legally but also for providing emotional support and is often regularly seen hugging her clients and reassuring them that they can have a different life where they can be protected and live without fear.
The many letters of gratitude that have been written to her for helping victims move forward with their lives is very rewarding and a selection of these letters, along with testimonials from her legal peers were attached to the nomination. Testimonials were provided to the awards committee by the judiciary, specialist domestic abuse charities and past and present clients.
The awards committee recognised the crucial role Suzanne has played in protecting the victims of domestic abuse and awarded her the British Empire Medal (BEM) in the King’s Birthday Honours List 2023.