A collection of memories from the FDAC teams across the country – compiled by Sophie Kershaw:
I am so sorry. Nick was such a warm and wonderful person. He will be remembered for a long time to come as the humane judge we would all like to be.
HHJ Claire Jakens The Family Court at Brighton
So sad to hear this news – Inspirational to us all and even in his struggle with cancer it seems – Please pass on Coventry FDACS sympathies to his family . Jane Dunne FDAC team manager Central Team Coventy
An amazing man who changed the lives of so many people. An extraordinary legacy.
He will be missed by so many. HHJ Karen Venables
Nick gave us the enterprise, incentive and zest to set up FDAC in Southampton which has led to its success. I shall miss him and I entirely share all sentiments expressed thus far. It is also worth mentioning he did a lot post retirement and made himself “always available” DJ Mark Stewart
I am thinking about him and what a thoroughly modern man he was, he could talk to anyone and make them feel regarded. We are an FDAC family and we have lost our Grandpapa but we will love and come together in remembrance and celebration of a good human being who lit the touch paper for justice, love and kindness in a world all too short of it.
Ms Beverley Barnett-Jones MBE Project and Implementation Lead FDAC Black Country Walsall
How Sad is that… a lovely man and a pioneer in his field.
I will miss him as I remember my first visit to the FDAC court in London on my first day, which was held by him. He was gracious to me and also with him running our Xmas court the following year.
Please pass on my sincere condolences to his family. Hejaz, MK Bucks FDAC
I only got to meet Nick on a handful of occasions but his compassion and commitment was palpable – a light has gone out!
There are a lot of parents and children who owe him a huge thank you for his foresight and tenacity.
District Judge Susan Jones Coventry Combined Court
I will remember Nick at the Family Proceedings Court in Wells Street. His kindness and generosity in sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm for family work was an inspiration to a newcomer in this area of law as I was.
Such a very sad loss but his legacy in FDAC lives on. Nina Tempia District Judge
Very very sad news. Nick was a real inspiration to those of us who have come to FDAC later in our careers. The last time I saw him he was talking enthusiastically about a planned trip to Scotland and also about his work in trying to save the national unit. I am thinking about all of you who worked so closely with him and his family.
HHJ Carole Burgher
A wonderful mentor and inspiration for others. The grandfather of FDAC is how I will remember him. The world has lost a very good man indeed. Nick worked extremely hard in his life for those less fortunate, I hope he is at rest now.
Georgina Thompson Office Manager – FDAC London
I am really shocked and saddened to hear we have lost Nick. Can you pass on my condolences to his family. He was such an inspiration and achieved so much. District Judge PennyTaylor Torquay and Plymouth County and Family Court.
Am so very sad to hear about Nick who was truly a pioneer and inspiration to us all. My deepest sympathies to his wife but she must be really proud to have been with such an amazing man. Maggie Colman Case Manager Leeds
I am so sad to hear this news and to read in his own words the impact on Jane. Whilst I personally only new him through FDAC he often left me with a far greater impression of him as an all-round incredible human being. My thoughts are with you all and his family at this time.
Vicki Ellis Practice Manager Social Work Education Team East Sussex
I have been so upset by this sad news, such a great loss to this world. I know you all must have worked closely with Nick for many years putting into practice his great idea which must carry on. I only met Nick on a few occasions but he was always so interesting to talk to and showed such empathy for our families. Reading his final email highlights further his compassion and consideration for struggling families and other people whilst fighting his own battle – what an incredible man.
Donna Harris Service Manager Kent and Medway Family Drug and Alcohol Team
I wish to join in what I am sure will follow as an outpouring of love affection and respect for a true humanitarian and wonderful colleague. Please let his family know the strength of feeling and sense of incredible loss shared by us all.
District Judge Tessa Szagun Brighton Law Courts
I add my expressions of sympathy and respect to those already circulating.
As a judge sitting in retirement to carry on doing FDAC work, Nick was not just an inspiration and a role model, he was also directly responsible for suggesting that I should carry on sitting in retirement after attaining the age of 70, something I did not realise was possible. I am sure that it was only his example that led to approval being given for me to follow in his footsteps. I shall always be grateful for his support and encouragement.
Deputy District Judge Robert Zara Family Court sitting at Coventry and Northampton
How terribly sad! I too will always remember Nick’s sonorous tones around his domain at Wells Street. He enthused all of us and was responsible for recruiting countless colleagues into the Family jurisdiction – myself included.
….and those photographs of Shetland…breathtaking!
I hope he was proud of what he did to ensure FDAC was launched. It is definitely his legacy.
I send my very best wishes to his family.
Deputy District Judge Shenagh Bayne
He was an extraordinary man and a humane and compassionate Judge and it was a real privilege to work with him on the development of FDAC Mary Ryan
What awful news. Nick was truly a force for good in the world. We will miss him terribly and I hope to honour his contribution by fighting to continue the work that he started.
District Judge Abigail Smith Civil and Family Court at Medway
I would like to say how very sad it is to hear to hear that Nick passed away.
I will never forget my experience of working with him at FDAC at Wells Street when I first joined the FDAC team. His words of encouragement to the parents we worked with. As well as his support to myself and how much he made me feel a part of the FDAC family. I will really miss his visits to us at the office and his never ending time and commitment to us all at FDAC London.
Diane Green Parental Substance Misuse Specialist FDAC London
Nick was a great inspiration to me when we were considering setting up a Family Drugs and Alcohol Court in Croydon. He was so passionate about the project an enthusiasm he always maintained.
I found him knowledgeable and approachable. I can honestly say Nick was a great support in our long process of setting up the court. I feel very privileged to have known Nick albeit only for a few years. I am sure with all the good work he has undertaken during his professional life he has contributed to positive outcomes for many people he has had dealings with.
With my condolences to his family. District Judge Maureen Parker
Nick was inspirational in helping Mark Stewart and I establish the FDAC court at Southampton. He has left an enduring legacy which will never be forgotten, which I hope will be of some comfort to his family at this difficult time.
District Judge Robin Wilson
Such sad sad news. Never had the pleasure of meeting Nick but have always been aware of how inspirational and passionate he was.
Sophie Carter Manager – Family Drug and Alcohol Court Team Leeds
Nick was such a kind, generous, courageous and courteous man whose vision and drive for FDAC has given hope to hundreds of vulnerable families across the country.
I would wish to extend thoughtful regards to his family and also to those of you who have been involved in the National Unit as you worked with Nick very closely over the years.
Jane Marriott Service Manager and the team at Turn Around for Children Service (TACS) Gloucester
I wasn’t in the team when Southampton FDAC was first set up, but those who were spoke fondly and gratefully of Nick’s contribution in the early days and of our training. Our Judge, Judge Stewart, has always spoken of Nick with such fondness and has held him in such high regard – rarely does a meeting with the Judge pass without a spot of Nick Crichton quoting!!
On the occasions myself and Southampton colleagues have had the pleasure of meeting Nick, he has always been so helpful, courteous and it’s not an exaggeration to say inspiring. What he has done for FDAC’s, social justice and ultimately vulnerable children and families is remarkable, and we are proud to continue his legacy with our work in Southampton.
Dan Clark Team Manager FDAC, Southampton
I am so sorry to hear the news, may he rest in peace. His legacy will endure. District Judge Eamonn King
He was a man of principle, who challenged his colleagues in the judiciary and stuck to what he wanted to do for families. A lovely person, who made a difference.
When the Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire FDAC met yesterday we spent some time just talking about Nick. Many lovely and amusing memories. I was then asked by the meeting to convey our best wishes to his family. We also wanted to record our gratitude to Nick for his inspirational work in setting up the first FDAC and his guidance and support to our programme. Where would we be now without him? What a legacy! Danny Conway
I was very sad to hear about Judge Crichton. I was before him on many an occasion and it was always a privilege. He embodied warmth and wisdom.
Celia Parker, Local Authority social worker and manager
I met Nick when I was part of the Brunel, and then the Lancaster, University research team evaluating the FDAC pilot service in London. I sat at the back of court observing hundreds of cases run by Nick and his fellow FDAC judges. That experience convinced me of the value of the problem-solving approach to care proceedings that Nick had introduced to the UK.
It was no surprise to watch Nick continuing to implement, champion and nurture this style of court hearings during the rest of his life, and to do so with his characteristic flair, passion, persistence and good humour. Nor was I surprised to hear from the new FDAC judges, in a follow-up research study across current FDAC sites, of the huge personal interest that Nick had taken in their FDAC work, his willingness to answer their questions at any time of day or night, and his acknowledgement of the creative ideas that they were bringing to the development of the new model.
I will cherish, with awe and affection, his knack of getting across to people in court, saying aloud the things that mattered most to those before him. Like telling a grandmother who had come to support her daughter at risk of losing her child: “Thank you for coming. Relatives will always be welcome in this court”. Like his plea to the professionals round the table in another case: “This young person is at such high risk. Who can help me get through to her?” Like demonstrating FDAC’s ethos of high support/high challenge, as he spoke to a mother along these lines: “This man is very dangerous. You have to tell us what we can do to help you. We want the children to stay with you. But they will lose everything if you end up being killed, and this is very likely if things continue as they are. I know it is.”
It will be a wonderful and fitting tribute to Nick and his work if, not too far in the distance, all parents and professionals involved in care proceedings can benefit from court hearings being run in this problem-solving way, reflecting and extending the compassion and keen sense of justice that marked out Nick’s approach. Jo Tunnard, FDAC NU member
What a good man who achieved so much. June Thoburn
RIP the loveliest man. Thank you Nick Tim Quinn, London FDAC
He was a very special person and I think we all feel privileged to have known him. It was his humanity that shone through.
HHJ Patrick Perusko