A Darwen man who survived the 2017 Westminster terror attack is to receive a British Citizen Award today (January 26).
Travis Frain will be heading to the Palace of Westminster to receive the award, which recognises exceptional individuals who have positively impacted communities across the country.
Travis, who was on a university trip to London with his friends when Khalid Masood struck him in a car, is being recognised for his work to raise awareness of and educate the public about extremism.
Travis, who was visited by King Charles III – then the Prince of Wales – as he recovered in hospital, 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.”
Travis, who suffered a broken leg, a shrapnel wound and numerous other injuries during the attack, said it was his mission to turn a terrifying incident into a positive.
Since then he has been holding workshops and talks at schools, colleges and universities to share his story and build awareness of extremism and provide tools to understanding and preventing radicalisation.
He said: “I was on crutches and in a wheelchair for six months and I has years of physiotherapy.
“During that period I had a 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 experience something horrific and if something positive, no matter how small, could come out of it then it had to be worthwhile.
“Even 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.
He also testified before the UN assembly on the importance of remembrance and recognition and how survivors’ voices can be used for preventing violent extremism.
You can find out more about the Resilience in Unity Project by visiting: www.resilienceinunity.com