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FREEDOM OF THE CITY: Salford taxi driver murdered whilst volunteering in Syria to be honoured

Updated: May 1, 2023

Salford City Council met on Friday 28 April to honour the late Alan Henning with Freedom of the City.

Alan died in October 2014 and Salford City Council pledged to commemorate his memory when the family felt the time was right.

Alan was born and lived in Eccles with his family working as a taxi driver. He was a much loved and respected taxi driver, known as Gadget or Gadge by his friends as he was brilliant at fixing things.

Alan was deeply moved by the plight of innocent people in Syria during the brutal war and began to raise funds to help alleviate their suffering with aid. He then took the incredibly brave decision to travel to Syria with an overwhelming urge to help people, putting aside his own fears to provide humanitarian aid, and comfort and support to the children of Syria.

Alan, who selflessly volunteered to help others with humanitarian aid, was killed while on the charitable relief mission to help the people of Syria.

The Ceremonial Mayor of Salford, Councillor Ann-Marie Humphreys, said: “It is right that the city provides its highest of honours to Alan Henning who reached out to help people in need from all backgrounds. It is also fitting that we constantly remember Alan’s kindness and his humanity and what his life meant.

“We all should be grateful for people like Alan who put others before themselves. The Freedom of the City is highest honour the city council can give to an individual and Alan certainly fits that category. The Henning family accepted the Freedom of the City in honour of Alan and we will make sure that he is never forgotten. Thank you for all you did Alan.”

A permanent memorial garden to Alan was officially opened in Eccles in 2016 as a place where people can reflect and remember him.

The garden features a circular flower bed, planted with yellow flowers and plants, wooden sleepers painted yellow and two granite boulders bearing memorial plaques.

The colour yellow was chosen to show the overwhelming love, support and remembrance to Alan Henning and his family that emerged in and around the communities of Eccles and Salford.

Local businesses donated the materials to make the garden free of charge and to make the special garden become a reality.


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