Diana Parkes given 'Points of Light' award by the Prime Minister for Joanna Simpson Foundation

Diana Parkes established ‘The Joanna Simpson Foundation’ to help transform the care, support and protection of children affected by domestic abuse. Credit: Good Morning Britain

A woman from the Isle of Man, who founded a charity to support children affected by domestic violence, has received a 'Points of Light' award from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

Diana Parkes' daughter Joanna was brutally killed by her estranged husband in 2010, all while their two children cowered in a playroom.

Robert Brown beat his wife Joanna Simpson to death with a claw hammer in their family home in October 2010.

This drove Joanna’s mother, Diana Parkes, to establish ‘The Joanna Simpson Foundation’, and help transform the care, support and protection of children affected by domestic abuse.

In its first two years, the Foundation focused on raising awareness of the effects of domestic violence, helped to invest in services offering advice and support to carers and young people, and undertook focused research to understand how best to help children in these circumstances.

The Foundation has worked with a range of partners across the public, private and charitable sectors, including The Crown Prosecution Service to create its first ever Legal Guidance on Domestic Homicides.

Brown recently had his automatic release from prison blocked by the Justice Secretary in October 2023.

Joanna Simpson was killed in the family home as their children cowered in a playroom.

Diana has also worked with Queen Camilla on numerous domestic abuse engagements.

Both Diana and Her Majesty featured on Radio 4 Woman’s Hour together in February 2022, where Camilla revealed she had been inspired by Diana’s story in campaigning to raise awareness around domestic violence and thus made domestic violence & violence against women a key theme of her royal work.

Diana said: “I am honoured and quite surprised to have become a recipient of the Points of Light Award.

“‘The Joanna Simpson Foundation’ was created after my daughter, Joanna Simpson, was brutally killed by her estranged husband, Robert Brown, in the vicinity of their children in 2010.

“The Foundation aims to raise awareness around domestic violence and help to transform the care and support of children affected by domestic abuse & homicide.

“Domestic abuse has a devastating impact on survivors and their families. Hopefully I have helped to make a difference in encouraging conversations around domestic violence and I hope this award will spotlight the incredible work of the ‘Joanna Simpson Foundation’.”

Diana is the 2184th recipient of the Points of Light award, which was first launched in April 2014 to recognise outstanding individuals making a positive change within their community and inspiring others.

Each weekday, someone in the country is selected to receive the award to celebrate their achievements.

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