The mother of Manchester Arena attack victim Martyn Hett visited the Sixth Form recently to spread awareness of radicalisation and to help students understand the importance of forgiveness.
Figen Murray, from Stockport, spoke to Year 12 and 13 students about her experience of losing a loved one in a terrorist attack. Her daughter Louise also answered questions from students.
Figen Murray told how losing Martyn, 29, in the 2017 attack on an Ariana Grande concert in the city had changed her life. The former therapist now brands herself as a Peace Promoter, spreading the importance of kindness, love and forgiveness.
Actively campaigning for a platform where students and young people feel they can talk in a safe environment, Mrs Murray urged future generations to take a stand against terrorism, saying: “We can do something about it, we don’t need to take it silently.”
She continued: “We need to look at our communities and build from within, re-establishing kindness and tolerance. This is not an impossible dream.”
Mrs Murray spoke about Martyn’s “incredible hunger for life” and how the community came together to show support for the family after his murder, with over 2,000 people attending a vigil for him held in their local park.
She told students about her grieving process, visiting the Manchester Arena after the attack, and how her family had helped each other through their ordeal.
As well as touring the country talking at schools and colleges, Mrs Murray is also a member of the Counter Terrorism Advisory Group and is working with Manchester’s Mayor Andy Burnham to help make Manchester the safest city in the United Kingdom.
She added: “I am more Martyn’s mum now than I ever was, he sits on my shoulder.”
Emma Scales, Assistant Director of Sixth Form, said: “It was very moving to hear the family’s story and learn about how they dealt with such a tragedy. Our students took an awful lot away from Mrs Murray’s talk.”