Hundreds came together to remember Merritt and JonesJoe cook

At a crowded vigil outside the Cambridge Guildhall, Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones were remembered and honoured this morning.

Hundreds of people came together, including the families, friends and colleagues of the victims, to honour all those affected by Friday’s London Bridge terror attack.

People embraced one another, lit candles and laid flowers and notes for the victims of the attack. Among the tears, there were also smiles and laughter, as friends and family fondly reflected on their memories. Saskia Jones’ friends laughed reflecting on nights out that they had shared with her.

The attack which killed both Saskia Jones and Jack Merritt took place just outside of Fishmongers’ Hall near London Bridge, where the fifth anniversary conference and celebration of Learning Together, a prison rehabilitation programme developed by Cambridge’s Institute of Criminology, was taking place.

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Dr Ruth Armstrong and Dr Amy Ludlow of the Faculty of Criminology, who launched the Learning Together programme with which both Merritt and Jones were closely involved, were also in attendance at the vigil, alongside many others involved in the programme, including some of those present at the time of the attack on Friday.

Outside the Guildhall, Cambridge University Vice-Chancellor Stephen Toope, and candidate for Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner spoke with the victims’ friends and families.

Jack Merritt, 25, was a course coordinator for the Learning Together programme. He has been described by his father as a “beautiful spirit”, and a “champion for underdogs everywhere, but especially those dealt a losing hand by life, who ended up in the prison system”.

Saskia Jones, 23, was a volunteer on the Learning Together programme, described by her family as “a funny, kind, positive influence at the centre of many people’s lives”. She “had a great passion for providing invaluable support to victims of criminal injustice” and “was generous to the point of always wanting to see the best in all people”.

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Elsewhere across the city, whether in private or on the picket lines, students and staff simultaneously observed a minute of silence at 11am.

In memory of Merritt and Jones, who were both Cambridge graduates, Cambridge colleges flew their flags at half mast.

Meanwhile, a similar vigil was held in Guildhall Hall, in London, attended by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

If you have been affected by the content of this article, the following links offer support and resources: the NHS guide to bereavementCruse bereavement care local support servicesThe Samaritans 24-hour helpline.

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