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Docklands bombing survivor honoured by University

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Published on 12, June, 2024

Jonathan Ganesh with University of Sunderland Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Sir David Bell and Chancellor Leanne Cahill
Jonathan Ganesh (centre) with University of Sunderland Chancellor Leanne Cahill and University Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Sir David Bell

Jonathan Ganesh, a survivor of the Docklands Bombing and co-founder of the Docklands Victims Association, has received an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Sunderland. 

Jonathan, who suffered life-altering injuries as a result of the bombing in February 1996, vowed to "turn something bad into something very good” – and, alongside other survivors and their relatives, formed the Docklands Victims Association.  

“I was one of the fortunate ones and managed to rebuild my life, I was helped so I needed to help others in return,” said Jonathan.  

For nearly 30 years, as the Association’s Honorary President, Jonathan has led efforts in supporting and providing resources for victims and those affected by terrorism in London and worldwide, including lobbying government leaders to keep the rights of victims of terrorism firmly on the agenda.

With a strong desire to support the Docklands community during the pandemic, Jonathan became a volunteer NHS responder in 2020, collecting patients from hospital and delivering food and medication - for which he received a Pandemic Response Medal in September 2023.  

Jonathan, who is a long-term resident of the Docklands area says how, when training to become a professional boxer in the early 1990s, he remembers running past the South Quay area, when it was mainly deserted docks.  

Since then, he has witnessed its transformation into a commercial hub, with the University of Sunderland in London’s opening, in 2012, being praised by Jonathan for “enhancing the area’s social fabric and helping it thrive further”.

In 2016, Jonathan trained to be psychotherapist and founded Docklands Counselling, based in South Quay.  

Proudly receiving the Honorary Fellowship during the University’s summer graduation ceremonies, held at London’s historic Southwark Cathedral, Jonathan said: “I’m touched. Receiving this award from a university is really powerful. While I am here accepting it, I am doing so on behalf of the people we’ve helped and all those who have contributed to the Association’s achievements.”