Family Statement following Claire Squires Inquest
On behalf of Claire Squires’ family, we have been asked to issue the following statement, as read out by Claire Squires’ partner, Simon van Herrewege:
“This is an extremely difficult time for us. Claire’s death has left a gaping hole in our hearts and in our lives, but we’ll always remember her with a big smile on her face, trying to make everyone she met feel good about themselves.
The outcome of this inquest has left us feeling numb. Claire took part in the London Marathon to do some good and challenge herself, in the same way she did with many other events.
Claire was passionately against the use of drugs and would never, ever, have taken anything that would have caused her harm or even worse risked her life. She innocently took a supplement which at the time was entirely legal, and widely available on the high-street, and somewhat worryingly, apparently used by so many others. It’s clear that there needs to be far better supervision of the so-called health foods and supplements industry so that no more tragedies like this happen again, causing other families to ever have to go through what we have been through this past year.
Claire was a beautiful person, committed to helping others. We have been comforted by all those who knew and loved Claire, as well as by the heart-warming support shown by the general public through their donations to Samaritans, and subsequent charitable events, to raise money for worthwhile causes in her name. This overwhelming response will help Claire’s memory to live on and hopefully help others.
We would now request that you give us the time and space we need to grieve in private. Thank you.”
Attending the Inquest today from Claire Squires’ family were:
Simon van Herrewege - Partner
Thomas van Herrewege - Simon's brother
Penny Squires - Claire's sister
Tom McNally - Penny's partner
Nicola Birrell - Claire's sister
Jim Birrell - Nicola's husband
Catherine Johnstone, Chief Executive of Samaritans, said:
“Our thoughts continue to be with Claire’s family today. Her death and the circumstances surrounding it are tragic. We continue to be profoundly affected and grateful by the continued support from the public raising more than a million pounds.
We are a small charity and this money will change the way we work. It will allow us to develop projects that are able to reach even more vulnerable people and will create a lasting legacy in Claire’s name. We continue to work closely with Claire’s mum, Cilla, herself a longstanding Samaritans volunteer in developing a programme of work that reflects how Claire would have wanted this incredible sum of money to be used.”