Mum of 7/7 victim presented with Topland Award

02 Nov 2017

Mavis Hyman, the mother of Miriam killed in the London 7/7 bombings is the recipient of this year’s Topland Business Luncheon Award in memory of Phillip Greenwold. Mavis, along with her husband John, daughter Esther and many of Miriam’s friends channelled their grief into ensuring something good would come from the tragedy by establishing the Miriam Hyman Memorial Trust.

Mavis and John were enjoying their retirement when their younger daughter, thirty-two-year-old Miriam was killed. In her acceptance speech, Mavis explained why she felt compelled to come out of retirement and make a difference; “It remains unbearable to think that Miriam could have lost her life senselessly; which compels us to turn things round and do whatever we can to redress the negative situation”.  

Determined to ensure the love and understanding that Miriam generated during her lifetime the family, supported by friends, established the Miriam Hyman Memorial Trust.

The Trust works on two interrelated projects.

The first is Miriam’s living memorial.  Miriam discovered in her teens that she was short-sighted. She said that clarity of vision was a revelation to her when she first wore glasses. Being a lover of nature and art, she very much appreciated her own eye care. The Centre is a place of hope, healing and rehabilitation for children who need eye care services, irrespective of the ability to pay.  

The second arm of the charity is Miriam legacy – “Miriam’s Vision”, a curriculum based resource for secondary school teachers based on Miriam’s story which directly addresses the way Miriam lost her life.  It was developed in association with the UCL Institute of Education and Miriam's school, Copthall School, to work towards an inclusive society, safer from violent extremism while helping young people to acquire transferable life skills to face adversity with resilience. With a duty on schools to prevent pupils from being drawn into extremism. “Miriam's Vision”, launched on the 10th anniversary of the bombings, is a vehicle for providing this in any educational setting in a non-confrontational way.

On accepting the award Mavis said; “True to tradition, the work of Jewish Care is rooted in caring for one’s fellow man from day to day, in numerous practical ways.  An award from an organisation which leads by example of what it means to “love your neighbour” is therefore very special and deeply moving.”

“I accept with deep gratitude and also in appreciation of the unstinting contribution of countless people who are continuing to give freely of their skills, time and energy to the Miriam Hyman Memorial Trust.”  

Sol Zakay, Executive Chairman and CEO of Topland Group commented,

“We are delighted to have had the honour to present this well-deserved award to Mavis. As a parent myself, I can’t imagine the grief and sense of loss that Mavis and her family have been through. I have an immense sense of admiration for Mavis and the work she is doing both through the delivery of often life saving eye care treatment and the work closer to home on our schools. Learning about terrorism through the story of one victim will, I am sure, help young people to think about the future, a future that they can help shape not only for themselves and their local community but for the country as a whole”.

Mavis is the 30th recipient of the award presented each year to outstanding individuals who often against personal adversity make significant contributions to others around them. Past recipients have included Sir Nicholas Winton MBE the British man who organised the Kinder transport operation and co-founder of the Alzheimer’s Society Morella Kayman MBE.

Following the award presentation Laura Kuenssberg, political editor for the BBC addressed the 700-strong audience.

Nick Doffman, Chairman of the Topland Group Committee commented;

“Today’s event is the 30th Topland luncheon. Over the years thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, the committee, guests and supporters, this event has raised an amazing estimated total of £6 million for Jewish Care.”

“We are facing uncertain times, this inevitably has an impact on fundraising for organisations like Jewish Care which is why I am event more thankful to all of our supporters who together today have donated a fantastic £250,000 . These funds will go a long way towards the running costs of the Jewish Care Direct Helpline and Community Support services over the coming year. Both services are there when people most need support, offering guidance through what can be incredibly difficult times.  These services receive no local authority funding and are completely reliant on voluntary income. Each year we need to raise over £1.5m to keep these services open for all who need them.”