2015 marks 10 years since the London Bombings where 52 people lost their lives and hundreds were permanently injured. Gill was fortunate to survive the initial blast however her injuries were so severe, losing both legs from just below the knee, that she wasn’t expected to live.
‘I made a vow while waiting for rescue in the train carriage, that if I was to survive then I would use my ‘second life’ to make a positive difference’ and since 2005 Gill has devoted her work to building sustainable peace with a focus on deterring all people from following a path of extremism.
‘My focus is to ensure we are creating societies where we are confident in our difference because we are united as ‘one’,not divided into groups of ‘us and ‘them.’ ‘It was important for me to use my body in its ‘new’ form to show the strength, courage and determination that I believe is within each of us –that we can face adversity and make a difference, embracing life for all it offers.’
Gill went on to say that the motivation that has stayed at the core of all she does was from the actions of the rescuer’s and all those who never gave up trying to save her life in the aftermath of the bombs.
‘My hospital label chillingly read, One Unknown, estimated female’ what that told me was that the rescuers were willing to put their own lives at risk to come and save mine, to save as many people as they could. To them it didn’t matter what colour my skin was, whether I had a faith or no faith at all, if I was rich or poor – nothing mattered other than I was a precious human life’.
Gill continued ‘I understood immediately what it meant to be part of humanity and just how interdependent and interconnected we all actually are – one person can make a significant difference’.
Note: #BeTheBridge will be inviting other international friends and colleagues to re create the initiative.
Gill Hicks MBE
I was severely and permanently injured in the London bombings of 2005. I am determined to do all I can to deter anyone from following a path of extreme violent action and believe everyone can make a personal difference to create a confident global community and a sustainable peace.