In 2013, Connor Sparrowhawk, also known as Laughing Boy or ‘LB,’ was found dead in a specialist NHS unit. Connor, who had autism and epilepsy, had had a seizure while in the bath and no member of staff was on hand to stop him from drowning.

In response to Connor’s death, our Independent Advocates have created a ground-breaking new resource to help those with learning and communication difficulties become more involved with decisions surrounding their care.

We have co-produced the ‘Justice for LB Toolkit’ alongside focus groups across Lancashire, to help those undergoing care assessments communicate their thoughts, needs and wishes more clearly. It also provides useful information and guidance about working with people who have learning disabilities and communication difficulties. 


Ian Weedall, one of the Advocates involved in creating the Toolkit says; “Our Justice for LB Toolkit was produced using feedback via a series of community groups across Lancashire. These focus groups included people who have benefited from our support, those with learning difficulties and those who have undergone care assessments in the past.

“This has led to a really thorough and vital kit that communicates confusing assessment and legal jargon in an easy to understand format, so that those people undergoing care assessments are more informed about the assessment and the impact of their decisions.

“We have already had brilliant feedback about the toolkit from health and social care professionals and people using our service and really think this is going to be a ground-breaking resource to help people take back control of their lives.”

The Toolkit has been endorsed by Connor’s mum, Sara Sparrowhawk, she says:

“This resource is brilliant and comprehensive because it's created by Advocates. It captures the heart of what is important to people to lead fulfilling lives and I'm delighted it's been produced in memory of Connor.”

Justine Hodgkinson, CEO, of Advocacy Focus, finishes: “I couldn’t be more proud of the Advocates who have created this Toolkit. They have taken the time to consult widely with the people who can benefit from this resource the most and as a result have ended up creating something incredibly valuable that has the ability to save and improve lives up and down the country.”