The mother of a stabbing victim has set up a charity to raise awareness of the effects knife crime has on families and communities.
Jane Ormerod, whose son Nicholas was murdered in April 2011, is planning to take her message into schools, youth clubs and colleges in Dorset.
She wants to establish mandatory knife awareness sessions in secondary schools to educate young people on the effect knife crime has on others.
The organisation, Turn Your Back UK, only obtained charitable status this year after seven months of fundraising and liaison with the council.
“After Nicholas’ death I discovered that there was nowhere in Dorset that deals with knife crime,” said Mrs Ormerod, “I didn’t realise that there’s quite a few people out there struggling with the effects of knife crime, there was a need for the charity.”
Mrs Ormerod said: “Nicholas was a very big AFC Bournemouth fan and so we thought that would be an ideal place to start.
“If you’re going to try and influence these kids you need to give them something to do to in place of wondering the streets and getting into trouble. Sports is the way we’re going to go with that, so what better place to start than Bournemouth Football club.”
The charity’s first knife workshop will take place next week at Littledown Youth Club said Mrs Ormerod.
She hopes to communicate the anti-knife message to kids from her experience of her son’s murder: “My passion for this comes from my heart and from my grief about Nicholas and I feel strongly that somehow I will find a way to get through to the kids.”
Read more about Turn Your Back UK here.
Listen to Jane Ormerod explain why and how the charity was founded
Knife crime in Britain
The Offensive Weapons Act 1996 means that people can go to prison for up to two years or be fined if they are carrying a knife in public without a good reason.
There has been a year on year increase in the numbers of people charged with possession of a knife since the 90’s.
Knives still account for the majority of murder weapons in the UK with 39% of all murders being carried out with a knife in the period 2011 – 2012.
Recent House of Commons statistics also show that in 17% of knife possession cases the offenders are below the age of 17.
In the period 2011 – 2012, 4,490 people were admitted to English hospitals due to assault by a sharp object, 18% of whom were under the age of 18.
Main image credit: didbygraham on Flickr