Eleanor Shaikh, recent recipient of mySociety’s Campaigning for Justice award, has become the Horizon Scandal Fund’s newest trustee.
Eleanor is known to hundreds of former Subpostmasters for her outstanding investigative research into the Post Office Horizon scandal and the care and empathy she brings to her work. El is the author of the document Origins of a Disaster, which painstakingly digs into the detail of the government’s involvement in procuring Fujitsu’s Horizon IT system for the Post Office, and she has become a past master at using Freedom of Information requests to extract crucial documents from public bodies.
“My own ex-Sub-Postmaster, Chirag Sidhpura, got caught up in the scandal in 2017. I began investigating, raised a petition and started badgering our local MP, Jeremy Hunt, to get involved. When Chirag and I attended the High Court as observers during the Bates v Post Office group litigation, I met many other remarkable survivors. It was a turning point. I realised you can’t support one and not them all.”
Before becoming involved in helping Chirag, El worked for nine years as a one-to-one special needs learning assistant in a mainstream infants school. She now works in a Primary/Secondary Special School in Surrey supporting youngsters with a range of complex learning difficulties including speech and language and those with additional diagnoses such as Autistic Spectrum Condition.
“I’m totally honoured to be joining the trustees of the Horizon Scandal Fund and look forward to doing whatever I can to contribute to their vital work. Countless people have suffered unimaginable harm as a result of this scandal. Each grant may seem a drop in the ocean but it can be an absolute lifeline to a family or single individual.”
Lord Arbuthnot, patron of the Horizon Scandal Fund charity said:
“Eleanor Shaikh has been a key part of the campaign to bring out the true story of what has been done to the sub-Postmasters. Her Freedom of Information requests, which have been informed by her deep forensic and investigatory skills as well as by her compassion, have made it impossible for those responsible to hide their actions. She will bring immense value as a trustee of the Horizon Scandal Fund.”
David Chaplin, chair of the Horizon Scandal Fund board of trustees said:
“We are delighted Eleanor has agreed to join the trustees. She has been a truly inspirational figure in the fight for justice for Subpostmasters and her inside knowledge of the scandal will help us better respond to the many requests for help we are, regrettably, still receiving on a weekly basis.”
The Horizon Scandal Fund exists to help former Subpostmasters, managers, assistants, Crown Office workers and their families whose lives have been impacted by the Horizon scandal.
It is a registered Charity (no 1199595). We are funded by generous individuals, charitable trusts and a percentage of income from sales of The Great Post Office scandal book.
Since its inception in November 2021, the Horizon Scandal Fund has disbursed grants totalling £36,487 to many former Subpostmasters in desperate need.
As well as Eleanor, the Horizon Scandal Fund’s trustees are David Chaplin (Chair), Helen Lacey (Treasurer), Varchas Patel, Sandra Tizzard, Helen Baker, Nick Wallis and Nicola Wallis.