Husband and wife peace
campaigners accept Honorary Doctorates from Edge Hill University
COLIN and Wendy Parry were today
awarded with Honorary Doctors of Education by Edge Hill University for their
efforts in promoting peace and community education in the wake of a family
On 20 March 1993, Colin and Wendy's 12 year old son, Tim was involved in an IRA
bombing attack in Warrington, and died 4 days later. Keen to ensure that
their son did not die in vain, Colin and Wendy established the Foundation for
Peace charity in 1995.
It was in the "very, very dark days" immediately following the bombing
when the couple tried to find answers about why the IRA would choose Warrington,
that they agreed to make a programme with the BBC.
"It was a very tough programme to make... But we
did find one bright spot in that month of making the programme. We witnessed a
group of young Northern Irish people, politically divided but united around the
concept that you cannot resolve disputes through violence.
So while they may have had different political ambitions they all united around
the concept of peace building. The foundation is predicated on the principle
that you talk to your enemy. I can't see how any progress can be made in any
conflict of any kind without dialogue" said Colin.
The Foundation for Peace works with people from all backgrounds to prevent
conflict by helping them to develop the skills and understanding to be able to
resolve conflict through non violent means. The Foundation also provides
training and guidance to leaders and mangers, including those at Government
level, on how to deal with past, present and future conflicts.
In March 2000 Colin and Wendy opened the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace Centre
in Warrington; a safe place where people can learn about non-violent resolution
of conflict. Colin and Wendy are passionate about encouraging those involved in
or affected by conflict to build meaningful friendships and find the means of
working together to eliminate the prejudice and distrust.
Speaking to today's graduands, Colin added:- "What matters most to us is
that we make a meaningful and long term difference in the world. I would look to
you to be the generation that can break the mould, who will step across the road
to speak to someone from the other side, whatever that other side is, who do
take the trouble to learn more about why people have differences and to make
your own contribution. Everyone can make those bigger gaps smaller in a very
simple way by conversation. That's our simple mantra."
Edge Hill University will award ten Honorary Degrees during its 2016 summer
graduation ceremonies. Each of the recipients, leaders in a range of areas
spanning film, law, politics, music, education, and philanthropy, will be
recognised by Edge Hill for their contributions to society that resonate with
the University's values, teaching and research.