When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
East Lancashire couple lead 'pushchair protest'
FAMILIES who have had their children taken into care by social services will march in protest later this month.
‘Pushchair protests’ have been arranged across the UK, including outside London’s Royal Courts of Justice, on Monday, September 30.
Tasha Richmond and her boyfriend Gordon Riley, both 26, have organised a protest outside Blackburn County Court after their three children were taken away because of a ‘risk of emotional abuse’.
Miss Richmond, who lives with Gordon in South Street, Accrington, has had seven children since she was 13, all of whom have been taken into care and adopted.
She accepted there was good reason for her children being removed when she was younger, but said she was still being punished for problems she had in the past.
She said: “I admit that I used to take drugs and had a chequered past and back then I wasn’t a fit mum.
“But I have settled down and I am not the child I used to be.
“They don’t believe me. There is no rehabilitation in their eyes.”
The pair decided to organise the Blackburn protest after contacting campaigner Cheryl Corless, who set up the London event.
Although the final details are still to be decided, protesters are expected to march from Blackburn to Accrington, and Miss Richmond said she may organise a sleepover outside the court to further raise awareness of their cause.
She said: “We saw the London protest on Facebook and said we wanted to get involved.
“Cheryl said we could set up our own event in this area, so that is what we did. “We just want people not to be scared of what people might think.
“We have to do everything we can to get our kids back and we want other people in our situation to come forward.
“There is no shame in them joining this protest and we urge everyone to come along and support this cause.”