A TERROR attack witness from Rugby has been inspired by his near-death experience to raise money for charities – including one which helps people affected by terrorism – by donating profits from his new clothing brand.
Rob Lyon was walking across Westminster Bridge in March 2017 when the horrific attack unfolded and, although he miraculously escaped unhurt, is still haunted by what he saw.
Inspired to ‘give something back’, he has set up Cauz Clothing to raise awareness, followers and funds for its charity partners.
For every one of his sustainable organic garments sold, £5 will be split between 12 good causes including Coventry-based Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice, Down’s Syndrome Association, Harambee Schools Kenya, Children’s Burns Trust and Kicks Count.
Rob said: “I was walking across Westminster Bridge and the next thing I knew, I heard a crunch of a car hitting a kerb as it mounted the pavement. My colleague screamed to warn me and then I saw several people being hit in front of me.
“I jumped into the road and the car carried on past and kept on hitting people. We were very close and at the time – I didn’t realise how close.
“When something like that happens, you have a whole new perspective on life and how short it could be. I wanted to do something and give something back.”
In the aftermath of the traumatic attack, the father-of-two decided to set up his own marketing agency to help achieve more of a work-life balance, and establish a fashion label with a charitable element.
Among the charities to benefit is British Red Cross, chosen by Rob because of its UK Solidarity Fund which helps people affected by terror attacks in the UK.
He said: “Although I was lucky enough to walk off the bridge without a scratch, I suffered quite severely with post-traumatic stress disorder.
“Being so very close to being hit myself meant that I was asked to be a witness at the inquest last September, which brought it all back – but it has reinvigorated me to turn something so horrible to good.”
Sarah Spriggs, grants and corporate partnerships officer at Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice, said: “The whole team are so pleased that Rob chose Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice in Coventry to be a part of Cauz Clothing.
“Zoë’s Place is the only hospice in the Midlands that provides respite and end of life care to newborn babies and children up to the age of five.
“We rely almost completely on public donations to fund our work and with the support of Cauz Clothing, we hope we can help more babies and their families than ever before.”