Travis Frain attended an event at the Palace of Westminster to receive the award, which recognises exceptional individuals who have positively impacted communities across the country.
Travis is being recognised for his work to raise awareness of and educate the public about extremism. His dedication to preventing extremism began when he was one of four students injured in the Westminster Bridge terrorist attack while in London for an educational trip to the houses of parliament.
Travis said: “When I found out about the award it was a massive shock but a relief to know that so much of the work we, the survivors and those in counter-terrorism do, is appreciated.
“Our work can often be quite thankless as a lot goes on behind the scenes.
“To know that has been recognised is really nice and very much appreciated.”
Since the attack he has been holding workshops and talks at schools, colleges and universities to share his story and build awareness of extremism and provide tools for understanding and preventing radicalisation.
He said: “I was on crutches and in a wheelchair for six months and I had years of physiotherapy.
“During that period I had a lot of time to think about what I wanted to do.
“It wasn’t an overnight decision but I was stuck in the belief that I had experienced something horrific and if something positive, no matter how small, could come out of it then it had to be worthwhile.
“Even if we reached just one person who was at risk of radicalisation, then this has all been worth it.”
Unable to attend schools for talks during the pandemic, he launched Resilience in Unity in 2021 to provide a platform for survivors of terrorism and extremism like himself, to share their own personal stories to create a meaningful digital legacy. Travis recorded dozens of testimonies from over 20 countries with views from around the world.
“I have been working in this area for years before launching Resilience in Unity was the culmination of all of this work,” Travis said.
“Pre-pandemic myself and other survivors had been giving talks in places of education to try and raise awareness of extremism and what we can all do to spot the signs of radicalisation.
“In the pandemic the national conversation moved away from extremism as the pandemic was all encompassing and all anyone was talking about.
“Seeing as we were unable to go to schools in person, we recorded the testimonies of those affected by terrorism and mapping them digitally.
“This created a digital memorial and lasting legacy and it also created an opportunity to create a counter narrative against radicalisation, so we can listen to these stories and put the reality of terrorism into perspective.”
Travis also organised the commemorative services for the fourth and fifth anniversaries of the Westminster Bridge attack.
Recently he testified before the UN assembly on the importance of remembrance and recognition and how survivors’ voices can be used for preventing violent extremism.
Edge Hill supported all of those affected by the Westminster Bridge attack by offering help from specialist counsellors from the Foundation for Peace in Warrington.
To find out more about the huge range of postgraduate programmes on offer at Edge Hill, visit our dedicated course page edgehill.ac.uk/postgraduate.
February 2, 2023