Commemorative projections

Why Survivors for Peace must continue

February 23, 2014 | Nick Taylor

Survivors for Peace – a call for action by Foundation Chief Executive Nick Taylor.

There is an act of terrorism on average once an hour. In the last recorded year there were 8,400 terrorist acts killing nearly 16,000 people, injuring thousands and affecting a huge number of people.

Yet, in our country, this hardly gains any mention in any of the media. In the last year only, the attack on the Boston Marathon and the murder of the soldier Lee Rigby received substantial attention. The British families of those killed in places like Algeria and Kenya, those injured in the Far East and South America had virtually no mention.

We live in a global society and travel, work and live across the world; and, of course, the people who wish to use violence to further their aims know this. In the early days after an incident, help is plentiful from Government Consular assistance to Non-Governmental Organisation’s humanitarian assistance. If you are working for a company then their ‘duty of care’ will help you, but for how long? When will the talk move to early retirement and compromise agreements? In this country the likes of the Police will help with early days family liaison and bereavement and victims support organisations will be available. But it won’t take long before such support disappears and all that will be available will be the GP and a hard pressed NHS or local social services.

That is one of the reasons the Foundation for Peace exists. For the last twelve years it has drawn together 500 victims and survivors from terrorism and political violence to form a unique community which addresses the trauma many have faced and has increased social participation – helping them to find their normal lives. Not only do we help people directly, we also prevent them from being lost in health, social and welfare care and thus saving the Government money.

This programme is now under threat. No Government department owns this issue and none is willing to own it let alone fund it. Funders are focused on meeting local social objectives such as getting people back into work or stopping offenders going back into prison. There are over 4,000 organisations raising funds and providing service to ex military personnel but only one, the Foundation for Peace, that works with civilian victims as well as military personnel. The cost to run this entire charitable programme is around £12,000 per month – a modest amount for such a return; but if we cannot raise this money then from April 2014 the assistance we provide will stop.

Today, 12 February, I am announcing the launch of  a society lottery to get cash straight to where it is needed most. I’ve set an ambitious target to gain 8,400 subscribers by April. This number is significant as it matches the number of terrorist incidents recorded in just one year. The cost is £1 per week and this is not just a donation but also a chance for you to win a prize. 50% of the money will go into the prize pot and 50% straight into the charity. What I am asking is if my friends and contacts will do two things. Firstly, subscribe themselves (it will cost no more than £1 a week – £52 a year – you can stop anytime and you can win up to £25k each week with a 63:1 chance of a prize). Secondly, if you could spread the word to everybody you know and encourage them to sign up as well.

In the last year since I joined the Foundation I have met many victims, survivors and people affected by terrorism and political violence.   People facing physical and psychological challenges.  We work with many people every day who are all but forgotten by society.  I also have a great team employing people like  Jo and Ann.  Jo has worked for twelve years on this programme – it is her life’s work.  I want that to continue.  But most of all there are untold horrors in the way many people lost their loved ones or were injured. Their physical pain is often apparent but the less evident psychological hurt is also unbearable. We can all help.

I am sure that people will be astonished that those bereaved, injured or affected by terrorism are left with little help. It is shameful.

The Foundation can change this.  I’m appealing to everybody I know to help turn this round by getting 8,400 lottery tickets sold.

Please help and I am happy to talk to anyone if you can help in any way.

Personal blog by Nick Taylor Foundation Chief Executive 12th February 2014

Click here to read about why the Survivors for Peace Programme is closing

How you can help:

Click here to sign up to our lottery

Click here to make a donation