Wendy Parry – Peace Centre Development and Charity Events
August 21, 2015 | foundation4peace
Wendy’s five steps to PEACE
We asked each of our team members, five steps that everyone can take to bring about Peace.
P – Project at the Foundation everyone should know about
E – Extremism challenge that needs resolving
A – A fact people might know about the Foundation
C – Colleague at the Foundation you want people to get to know
E – Everyone can help the cause of peace by….
Here are Wendy’s answers:
P – A PROJECT at the Foundation everyone should know about:
The ‘Think’ project was piloted in 2014 and has gone from strength to strength over the past 10 months. It is a more sophisticated version of our first ever programme which we started in 1995 called the Tim Parry Scholarship. After 20 years of learning we have been able to put all this knowledge and experience into the ‘Think’ programme for the good of young people today.
E – Facing the challenge of Political EXTREMISM:
The Foundation will continue to deliver its counter-extremism projects which make a difference to people’s lives. Our challenge is to make Government understand that extremism won’t go away unless more resources and funding is invested in resolving all forms of conflict
A – A fact people might not know about the Foundation:
The Foundation was launched in 1995 from the spare bedroom (Tim’s bedroom) at our house. We started with one programme, entitled ‘The Tim Parry Scholarship’, bringing young people from Warrington together with young people from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. This programme which worked so well, led to the idea of a Peace Centre.
C – A Foundation COLLEAGUE I want people to know:
Nick Taylor has been our CEO since 2013, and has overseen the development and expansion of the Foundation. He is a team member, as well as team leader and is happy to credit others for our successes rather than himself
E – EVERYONE can help the cause of peace by….
Taking part in our fundraising events and campaigns – Charity Ball, Christmas Party, Golf days and our Doves for Peace, is an easy and fun way to support the cause of Peace.
Tim’s death was a difficult time for the family but the determination to keep his memory and name alive has helped us to deal with the loss of our beautiful and cheeky second child. The death of any child is the most painful loss to bear for any family in any circumstances but Tim was killed by a terrorist bomb, making it a political act which attracted enormous publicity and public outrage throughout Britain and Ireland.
Consequently, Tim and our family became public figures for a very long time through TV, Radio and the Press. Constant media attention meant that Colin and I were very busy in the days, weeks and months that followed Tim’s death but it helped to take our minds and focus, to some extent, off the raw pain of losing Tim.
At the same time, we had to adapt to being a family of four instead of five, making sure our other two children lived as ‘normal’ a life as possible.
Two years after the bombing we decided to make a positive contribution to the conflict which had taken Tim from us, by setting up a charity named after Tim and Johnathan Ball, the other young boy killed in the bombing, and whilst Johnathan’s parents chose not to be involved directly in the charity, they were nevertheless happy for us to include their son’s name and they supported everything we did.
The Foundation’s first programme was called ‘the Tim Parry Scholarship’, and it helped young people from Warrington, Dublin and Belfast to learn about each other’s’ lives, hopes and fears, and through this programme, they came to see that that there was very little difference between them in terms of things they liked and disliked as young people.
The end product was that they became friends who remained in touch with each other after the programme ended.
The germ of the idea for a Peace Centre was planted while Colin and I were filming for a BBC documentary at a Peace Farm in Coleraine, and became the perfect living memorial to the boys.
Building began in 1999, and on March 20th 2000, the 7th anniversary of the Warrington bombing, HRH the Duchess of Kent opened our unique centre.
Over the past 15 years, I have fundraised for the Foundation, mostly through high profile events and though I continue to do so, I now also generate income through external bookings of the Peace Centre’s facilities. The Centre is the Foundation’s prized asset and is well used by the Warrington community as well as local and national companies for conferences and meetings. Income from external events helps to keep the Centre open and well maintained.