Public Service students at Suffolk New College students created an anti-knife crime awareness event in Ipswich.
Five of the six learners – Oliver Carr, Jacob Cook, Riley Clarkson, Harry Murphy and Dion Braithwaite – are all massive Arsenal supporters and were inspired by a campaign called No More Red that was set up by the North London football club and Adidas. (Ailani Cochrane was also involved – and although she is not a fan of a specific team, she fully supports the Arsenal campaign).
No More Red aims to keep young people safe from knife crime and violence and recently hit the headlines when Arsenal wore an all-white kit in their FA cup match against Nottingham Forest in January.
Spurred on by the campaign to do something positive, the level three public services learners created a football tournament that has so far raised just over £250 for the St Giles Trust in Ipswich.
They are hoping that the money will be put towards a knife amnesty bin in the town.
Oliver Carr spoke on behalf of the students. The 17 year old from Felixstowe, said;
“Knife crime and issues relating to county lines problems are a growing concern across the country.
Therefore, we decided to do something positive and although it wasn’t easy bringing the event together, it was great to see how it turned out. I think young people get a bad rap sometimes, so it’s nice to try and flip that negative stereotype on its head.”
Cairo Coombs is a mentor at St Giles Trust. He said:
“My message is that knife crime is not cool and there is always someone to help you. The College has done well with this campaign and we appreciate what they are doing. Hopefully we can build on this and do more things together.”
PC Richard Smith is a community engagement officer for the Suffolk Constabulary who came along to support the event. Richard said:
“It’s brilliant what the students are doing. I tip my hat off to them.”
Progress Tutor for Uniformed Public Services and health and Social Care, Olly Waters, said:
“I’m very proud of what the students have done – they took the initiative and went for it – all credit to them.”