One Punch UK
1811. Maxine Thompson-Curl
1812. Anthony Curl
Maxine Thompson-Curl and Anthony Curl, from South Shields, founded charity ‘One Punch UK’ to raise awareness of the devastating impact a single punch or act of assault can cause after the death of their son Kristian, who was punched on the head during a night out in September 2010.
Kristian suffered from a catastrophic brain injury and spent seven days in a coma. While he initially seemed to recover, he had sustained severe brain damage, and his condition deteriorated, passing away in July 2011 at the age of 19. Following their loss of Kristian, Maxine and Anthony formed ‘One Punch UK’ to highlight the dangers of one punch assaults and aim to prevent sudden acts of violence, running workshops in schools and colleges, prisons and probation hubs and other workplaces across the North East, and have spoken to over 56,000 people to date. The charity has also run campaigns such as placing beer mats in pubs and bars with warnings about the impact of violence, and provides counselling and support to other families who have faced one punch deaths. Maxine and Anthony are working closely with Dehenna Davison MP, whose father also lost his life due to a single punch attack, and the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for One Punch Assaults to further raise awareness and look at justice and sentencing reform.
In a personal letter to Maxine and Anthony, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I am lost in admiration for your courage and commitment to serve your community after the appalling murder of your son, Kristian. Out of this tragic and senseless loss, you have created a mission to ensure that no other family suffers the same.
“‘One Punch UK’ has held workshops with an astonishing 56,000 people and warned them of the dangers of one punch assaults and sudden acts of violence. By supporting other families who have suffered from one punch deaths, you have shown them light, in the darkest of times.”
Dehenna Davison MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on One Punch Assaults, said:
“I am delighted to see Anthony and Maxine receive this honour and recognition for their outstanding work with ‘One Punch UK’.
“I have known Anthony and Maxine for several years and am always blown away by their commitment, energy and eagerness to make positive change for the victims of one punch assaults and their families.
“I congratulate both of them on their incredible campaigning efforts, and look forward to continuing to work with them in the future.”
Emma Lewell-Buck, MP for South Shields, said:
“Maxine alongside Tony has used her unimaginable heartbreak at the tragic loss of her son Kristian to campaign tirelessly so that no one else loses a loved one from a one punch attack. Supporting others and raising awareness when your own grief is so raw takes tremendous strength, something I know Maxine has by the bucket load. I am sure her lovely son is as proud of her as we all are in South Shields.”
Maxine and Anthony said:
“We are honoured to receive this award and overjoyed it is in Kristian’s name and this award will motivate us to carry on with our extremely important cause.”