• Brachers has thrown its support behind the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) with its head of Family law becoming Branch President.

    During the coronavirus pandemic, the NSPCC has reported an increase in demand for its vital work with children and young people. During the three months of lockdown there has been a 32% rise in calls about domestic abuse. Since 10 January when the charity received its first call from a child worried about coronavirus, the NSPCC and its helpline services – Childline and the NSPCC helpline – has delivered 7,000 counselling sessions.

    Mei-Ling McNab, who heads up the firm’s Family team, has been appointed as the new NSPCC Branch President (Mid, North and West Kent). She will lend her expertise in supporting victims of domestic abuse, helping families resolve disputes concerning children following family break-ups and all aspects of family law. She joined Brachers in 2013 after practicing at a specialist family law firm in the City since 2001.

    “Untiring work of the NSPCC”

    Mei-Ling said: “Now more than ever, it’s important that we highlight the untiring work of the NSPCC and its army of volunteers. Lockdown has created uncertainty around the world and it’s easy to forget that while the Government’s ‘stay at home’ direction was a safety net for some, it was not this way for everyone.

    “For adults and children living in volatile domestic situations, home is not always the safest place. We have heard horrific stories of children who have had to witness one of their parents physically abusing the other or seen their parents’ drug addiction, and of an increase in sexual abuse towards children.

    “In my role as Head of Family law at Brachers, I have witnessed this first-hand with the sharp increase in divorce enquiries and children’s issues. It’s so sad to see the devastating effects of family breakdowns and the effect this has on vulnerable individuals, including children, as an outcome of the pandemic.

    “Today NSPCC is holding its third Childhood Day in a bid to celebrate what’s great about being a kid, through encouraging celebrations around the country. The extra counselling sessions that the charity has delivered during lockdown have made a real difference to the mental health of those involved, but more support is needed to continue this good work.”

    “Passion for protecting children”

    NSPCC Fundraising Manager, Michele Baxter, commented: “We are thrilled to have Mei-Ling join the NSPCC as Branch President. Her passion for protecting children and insight into the effects of domestic abuse means that Mei-Ling will be an exceptional advocate for our work, not only locally but nationally.

    “We look forward to introducing her to the work we do locally at our Children’s Centre in Gillingham. This centre provides children who have experienced abuse with much needed specialist therapy – a service that is needed more than ever and funded by public donations.”

    The NSPCC has been looking out for children for more than 130 years. It works with schools, offers therapy and support, carries out vital research, and campaigns for change. Its Mid, North and West Kent branch was one of the first, established in 1895 – a year that is important to Brachers also, as it celebrates its 125th anniversary.

    In a bid to increase awareness of the charity’s heightened work through lockdown, it has released a report highlighting the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on child welfare and domestic abuse.

    This content is correct at time of publication

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