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Floral tribute in Birstall

Floral tribute laid in memory of Jo Cox MP

June 21, 2016 | Nick Taylor

Floral tribute, words and thoughts laid by Foundation in memory of Jo Cox MP

A floral tribute, card and words about peace has been laid at the makeshift memorial to Jo Cox MP in Birstall, West Yorkshire.  Zaniul Sachak, Programme Manager for the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace, visited the town following the tragic killing last week.

The Foundation leaves its thoughts in Birstall

The Foundation leaves its thoughts in Birstall

The Foundation works in the prevention, resolution and response to violent conflict and concentrates its work within the north of England including West Yorkshire.  Zainul was in the area to meet officials of the local city and regional authorities to plan our next phase of work that starts in the 2016 | 2017 school year.

Fittingly, at the same time, a local school had arranged to release white doves as a symbol of their hope for peace.  Jo had been a regular visitor to the school and in supporting the girls.  Pictured is Emma Sandford from Batley Girls High School releasing a dove.

Dove sof Peace

 

The Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace was established as a living memorial to two children, Tim Parry and Johnathan Ball, killed in the IRA bombing of Warrington in 1993. Tim’s parents, Colin and Wendy Parry, set up the organisation to seek peaceful alternatives to violence.

Our programme,‘For Peace’, consists of a portfolio of projects, products, and services. Our work has three components: prevention, resolution and response. In prevention we seek to stop violence before it starts, however when conflict does arise, we seek resolution through dialogue and actions to deal with issues without recourse to violence, and when violent conflict has already occurred, we are there to respond, to help those affected to cope and recover and, in many cases, to become active peace builders and agents for change themselves. Our aim is to break the cycle of violence so our projects overlap allowing our participants to learn from one another and play their role in achieving this.

The Foundation will be delivering a number of projects within the Kirklees area aimed at helping people, particularly young people to develop the resilience to the extremism of different kinds that have dominated recent headlines.  We will also be working with the local professionals that have a duty to safeguard young people and build their skills.

The politics of fear and division have become a serious challenge pulling people towards hatred, stories of ‘it’s them vs us’ and seductive proposals for extreme, even violent, solutions to social and political issues.

The work in Kirklees will continue the legacy left by Jo Cox and her desire to work for the residents of the Batley and Spen constituency and for a more just and tolerant world.  Foundation, Chief Executive, Nick Taylor drew upon Jo’s words when he wrote an article for the Huffington Post entitled ‘Jo Cox Was a Beacon of Hope Who Stood Against Hate – If Only We Could All Emulate Her.’ Click here to read his post.

Extremism isn’t new and the Foundation for Peace was formed after the violent deaths of two boys:  Johnathan and Tim.  The loss of Jo to an act of violent extremism and hate has drawn a passionate response from across the world.  In visiting Birstall, the Foundation is showing its solidarity to Jo, her family, friends, colleagues and the people of the Kirklees borough, and looks forward to working across the community to promote the positive attributes Jo so much stood for and admired – in her own words:

Our communities have been deeply enhanced by immigration, be it of Irish Catholics across the constituency or of Muslims from Gujarat in India or from Pakistan, principally from Kashmir. While we celebrate our diversity, what surprises me time and time again as I travel around the constituency is that we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.
 
In memory of Jo Cox MP 1974 – 2016