Irwin Mitchell Holds Virtual Race Night To Raise Funds For Leeds Committee

Event To Help Make Camper Van Dream A Reality For Friends Of Lucy-Mai


By Helen MacGregor

Legal and care professionals will come together and place their bets this week at a virtual race night in aid of a Leeds committee which is fund raising to buy a specially adapted motor home to help families with a disabled child have a well deserved holiday.

Friends of Lucy-Mai was set up by Dean and Ann Marie Sanderson to help children who suffer from disabilities after their two-year-old daughter Lucy-Mai, who had cerebral palsy, sadly died in 2008 following an epileptic fit.

The Sandersons, from Garforth, instructed medical law experts at Irwin Mitchell to investigate her claim but she died before the investigation could be completed.
Now, Irwin Mitchell has funded and organised a virtual race night on October 3 at the firm’s Leeds office on Wellington Place which will see proceeds donated to Friends of Lucy-Mai to help fund a specially adapted motor home which will be loaned to families so they can have a much needed break together.

The idea was formed by the Sandersons after national charity, Contact a Family, carried out a survey which found families that have children with disabilities are more likely to be financially disadvantaged because parents often cannot work due to care needs, meaning they do not have the resources to pay for a holiday.

Friends of Lucy-Mai needs £100,000 to buy and convert the camper van which can be used by a family of five including one special needs child.  It then costs £250 for a family to be able to use the motor home for a week taking into account groceries on collection and general running costs.

So far the committee has raised £20,000 and Irwin Mitchell has already raised over £8,000 through ticket sales for the race night and donations from sponsors and contacts.

The event, sponsored by Irwin Mitchell’s Asset Management team, Jacqueline Webb and Co and the barristers from 7 Bedford Row will see races displayed on a big screen which guests can place bets on and each race will be introduced  by the Senior Starter of the Jockey Club  Hugh Barclay. A selection of prizes, including iPad minis, will be given to the winners.

Rachelle Mahapatra, a Partner and medical law expert at Irwin Mitchell’s Leeds office, said: “The Sanderson’s commitment to helping other families and children with disabilities is nothing short of incredible and we are very proud to support the Friends of Lucy-Mai committee and help with the goal of buying a specially adapted camper van.

“Sadly, we represent many families who have a child with special needs caused by errors during their birth so we see first-hand how important a family break in a safe place is to them.

“Of course, there are also a lot of children who suffer disabilities because through no fault. They will all benefit from being able to have a holiday with a subsidised camper van. The break will give their carers a well deserved rest from the struggle they face every day.

“The Virtual Race Night is a fun way for businesses to come together, network, but more importantly raise funds for a fantastic charity which makes a huge difference to the lives of local families.”

Dean Sanderson said: “The support offered by Irwin Mitchell over the years to our efforts and those of many other charities is always appreciated and a determined effort by their staff.

“Many of the staff donate their personal time to events and without their enthusiasm for what they do we would never raise the level of funds we always seem to achieve when they get involved.

“Many families will benefit from the Camper Van for the life it will spend on the road making it a unique, adaptable and affordable solution for many. A website is currently under construction to report on the fundraising and subsequent success stories the project will offer."

To make a donation to the project please visit

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise relating to medical negligence claims