Blair takes a charitable brief


Norwood's patron of children's services, Cherie Blair, helped to raise more than £25,000 for the cause by tackling some controversial topics at its young lawyers reception.

Sharing the stage with journalist Julia Hartley-Brewer at Investec's City offices, Mrs Blair warned of the impact of cuts to legal aid. In support of the Human Rights Act, she pointed out that its introduction in 1998 paved the way for those with disabilities to challenge government funding decisions that threatened their right to a dignified, independent life.

In the concluding Q&A session, she answered questions on childcare, work-life balance, quotas for women on company boards and fair division of labour in the home.

The appeal was delivered by Talia Aziz, who has a learning disability and has benefited from the charity's educational support services. She graduated last year with qualifications in functional skills, maths and English and is a keen artist. "Because of Norwood I feel like I can make my dreams come true," she said.

Speaking afterwards, Mrs Blair said: "I've seen for myself the incredible work Norwood do for young children with additional needs and I've seen the transforming effect that this has, not just on the children, but their families as well. The YN group really shows that lawyers are committed to changing the world and to helping charities like Norwood make a real difference."

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