On Sunday, 3 December, The Table of Love & Loss memorial event returns to East Ham Town Hall in East London. Now in its second year, the one day event, which is open to the public, is an opportunity to offer solidarity and hope to bereaved families who have lost relatives in tragic circumstances, while helping wider society to learn about individual cases and the ordeal that relatives of victims face.
It’s hard to comprehend what families go through when a loved one is murdered. They are plunged into deep trauma by this sudden violent loss. Yet, before they have time to process their grief, families must also deal with police investigations, media intrusion, court cases and much more.
Ayşe Hussein has already lived through this awful experience. In May 2018, her cousin Mihrican ‘Jan’ Mustafa, a 38-year-old mother of three, went missing. There was no help from the authorities, despite Jan’s disappearance being out of the ordinary.
A year later, Jan’s body was found in chest freezer with the body of another woman, Henriett Szucs, in the home of a convicted sex offender in Canning Town. Both women had been brutally murdered.
The case files show the authorities had multiple opportunities to stop the man responsible, Zahid Younis, from preying on the vulnerable but, as is so often the case, crucial details were missed by the over-stretched and under-resourced teams tasked with monitoring such offenders.
Each time Ayşe now sees a murder case in the media, she knows what lays ahead for the victim’s family and as they go through a similarly painful journey to her and Jan’s immediate family.
Ayşe Hussein launched The Table of Love & Loss in 2022
Last year, as part of the Jan’s legacy, Ayşe decided to launch The Table Of Love & Loss, a memorial event that would bring together families who had lost loved ones in tragic circumstances as a means of offering them solidarity and to signpost them to those who can best support them.
Ordinary members of the public were also invited to the event to learn about the real lives behind the media headlines to murder cases.
Supported by Newham Council and other key organisations, the sensitively managed event at East Ham Town Hall saw the large room hall filled with tables about the victims set up by their families and friends, and information from civic society organisations, the police and officials from local and regional authorities. Its success has prompted a second event at the same venue.
This year’s Table Of Love & Loss will again be a free event packed full of information for friends and families who have lost loved ones. They can talk to and receive advice from specialist organisations, visit stalls, and share a serene space facilitated by counsellors and mental health professionals.
Among those attending our charities and organisations specialising in domestic abuse, mental health crisis, suicide, honour based abuse, stalking, homicide, road rage, knife crime, drugs & alcohol, missing persons, support for bereaved families, modern slavery and forced marriage.
Representatives from the London Probation Victim Contact Scheme and Metropolitan Police will also be present. Guest speakers will include Anjum Mouj from the London Black Women’s Project, Rokhsana Fiaz OBE – Mayor of Newham, Detective Sergeant Isla Edwards (MPS Specialist Crime South), Lejla Dauti, who helps amplify stories from domestic abuse victims, and youth mentor and spoken word artist Quinton Milise.
Title: The Table of Love & Loss
Date: Sunday 3 December 2023
Time: 1pm to 4.30pm
Venue: East Ham Town Hall, 328 Barking Road, London E6 2RP
Travel: Nearest tube station is East Ham (District Line), and the area is also well served by buses. There is free on-street parking in nearby side streets too.
Admission: Free. No prior registration or tickets are required.
A BSL (British Sign Language ) interpreter will be present on the day
Those attending are advised that filming & photography will occur at the event.