“Dear Micheal – I’d like to give you a personal thank you on behalf of my organisation and partners from Essex County Council, Southend and Thurrock unitary organisations along with the wider group of Essex based safeguarding professionals who were at the recent prevent development day in Essex.

I know it was really important to get your message heard right at the start of the event. You were able to impress on the audience that the threat we continue to face from terrorism can have a very local and personal reach and can happen anywhere, we all have a part to play particularly in raising awareness and for professionals to have the confidence to share their concerns at an early stage. It was clear to see the personal and heartfelt account your experiences had on you your family the wider community, I saw the impact it had on the group of around 300 people, who listened to every word you said very intently.

Your organisation Supporting Affected families from Extremism was recently nominated for the Counter Terrorism Education Project awards for 2018. Your joint aims of supporting families who have lost a loved one through extremism / terrorism right through to those who have current concerns around safeguarding and radicalisation are highly valued supportive measures in our statutory and third sector preventative approach to the aims we continue to develop.

The opportunity for families to engage with your organisation, providing them with a space to talk about their concerns, fears and future issues certainly facilitates a much better response for those caught up in unexpected issues and I know you offer some excellent signposting services too. Your personal and organisations strengths sit at the very centre of the latest Contest strategy which is designed to reduce the risk from terrorism in the UK and overseas.

I would very much like to see greater use of your teams skills and support initiatives in Essex and further across the Eastern region, the benefits of partner intervention coupled with additional mentoring with the highest levels of authenticity, that you bring, are a valued tactic in our efforts to safeguard vulnerable individuals and communities here in the East.

Mr David Anderson QC in Contest IV underscores an effective local response can be achieved through local approaches that better inform local community pictures, an area that your experience and support can assist us with in the future, the feedback from the attendees regarding your specific input was unanimously impressive and positive.

Again a big personal thank you for all your support and I look forwards to working with you more in the future”