Personal Impact Statements

During August and early September of 2018, we collected written impact statements from those affected in the community.

The purpose of the statements was to tell national government the severity of the impact on those affected. They were collated and handed directly to James Brokenshire, then the new Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, on 5th September 2018.

Here we explain the reasons why it was necessary to gather these statements, present the statements themselves, and report on the alarming common themes that arose from reading them. 

You can also submit your own statement, should you wish to have yours published here. 

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Gathering the statements

Upon the invitation from government for residents and traders to meet the new Secretary of State to tell him of the impacts, a public campaign was launched to gather the statements. We used social media posts which were widely shared, leaflets were created which were printed and distributed amongst many New Ferry shops as well as over 1800 which were hand-delivered to the most proximal residential properties. A number of local radio stations and newspapers were keen to help in getting the message out to as many people as possible, and so widely reported the campaign. 

 

Personal Impact Statements

Many of those most severely affected, simply couldn't face the stress of reliving their trauma, so were unable to write a statement - it was and still is simply too difficult for them.

As this site is in an archive state, no new information is being added. 

Statement 1: 

We spend our lifetime watching documentaries and films about disasters and the impact they have on people's lives but never in my wildest dreams did I expect it to happen to my community in New Ferry and Port Sunlight.  The 25th March 2017 started off as a normal Saturday....... Continue reading

 

Common themes highlighted in the impact statements

Prior to handing the personal statements to James Brokenshire, the statements needed to be read to ensure there was no abuse or political anger. As we were talking to people, collecting their photos and reading their statements, we were able to identify many common themes. Given that the number of statements collected was only few (57) considering the number of people impacted, these common themes were alarming, and had to be reported to government.

The most serious issues and common themes that arose from the reading of the personal impact statements were:

Serious debt and severe depression - these two are not mutually exclusive 

• For most, the loss of their homes, their jobs, their livelihoods, their physical and mental well being, has resulted in enormous personal debt as a direct result of the explosion.
• All of the victims are bearing the significant financial costs of this disaster.
• All of the children impacted by the explosion have suffered long term psychological difficulties, resulting in extreme stress for the children and their families.
• A great many of the victims are still under GP and / or psychiatric care and are on anti depressants as a result of the explosion.

Anonymised excepts from the statements have been published in the full report on the scale of the explosion, and are also shown below. Click each one to view full size.

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