Hillsborough campaigners Margaret Aspinall CBE and Trevor Hicks CBE to be awarded Senior FellowshipsTuesday 19 January 2016
Hillsborough campaigners Margaret Aspinall CBE and Trevor Hicks CBE will be made Senior Fellows of Liverpool Hope University next week.
Professor Gerald Pillay, Vice Chancellor and Rector of Liverpool Hope University said: “Margaret Aspinall and Trevor Hicks are truly remarkable people. They are outstanding exemplars of perseverance and unwavering dedication to truth and justice, even when that has meant much sacrifice. In recognising them, we seek to honour all the families of the 96 and those who engage in the struggle for truth and justice in our society. We are honoured to welcome them into the Liverpool Hope University community.”
Mrs Aspinall and Mr Hicks will be awarded their Senior Fellowships at the university’s annual Foundation Day Service, which celebrates the ecumenical foundation of the university and its commitment to social justice and educating the whole person.
Margaret Aspinall is chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group (HFSG), which has campaigned tirelessly for justice since the Hillsborough Disaster in 1989. Margaret’s 18-year-old son James lost his life in the tragedy. As one of the HFSG’s founding members, Margaret sat on the committee for several years, before taking on the role of Vice-Chair and finally Chair in 2009. She has travelled across the UK and Ireland raising awareness and understanding of the ongoing campaign, and sharing her experience with other families fighting their own causes. In 2013 Margaret was the recipient of the Spirit of Mother Jones Award (named after early union organiser and social campaigner Mary Harris Jones). Margaret has also received a Pride of Britain Award, was named Mother of the Year 2013, and was presented with an Icon Award at the Juice FM Style Awards in 2014.
Trevor Hicks was founding chairman of the Hillsborough Family Support Group (HFSG) before standing down after nearly 16 years’ service and becoming Honorary Life President. Mr Hicks and former wife Jennifer lost their daughters, 19 year old Sarah Louise and 15 year old Victoria Jane, in the Hillsborough Disaster. Following Andy Burnham’s speech at the 20th Hillsborough anniversary memorial service, Trevor Hicks, Margaret Aspinall, Jennifer Hicks and Sue Roberts formed a mini executive to pursue Mr Burnham’s offer of document disclosure. By persistent and skilful negotiation they were able to convert that into the formation of the Hillsborough Independent Panel. They liaised with the Panel, Government and families throughout the review process. Following the Panel’s damning report, its acceptance by Government – including an apology from David Cameron - Dominic Grieve, the then Attorney General, applied to the high court for the original inquests to be quashed. The new inquests are now nearing their end.
In recognition of their 26-year battle, all of the Hillsborough families were added to the City of Liverpool Freedom Roll and Margaret Aspinall and Trevor Hicks were awarded CBEs in the Queen’s 2014 New Year honours.