Staff and students came together in a poignant show of solidarity to throw their backing behind the No More Knives campaign, performing an extremely moving rendition of Stand By Me.
Sports, Childcare and Health and Social Care students were joined by the parents and family, of local knife crime victims, who took part in the heartfelt performance, that beautifully commemorated the lives of the victims and helped keep the message of the No More Knives campaign alight.
The campaign was set up due to a huge increase in knife crime in the last 18 months, and has since seen a flurry of support from local businesses, colleges and schools.
The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of the devastating impact that knife crime is having on not only the country, regions, and local communities, but most importantly the individuals and family of those who are harmed or lose their lives to knife related incidents.
In the year ending in March 2018 there were 40,100 national offences involving a knife or sharp object, the highest it’s been in 8 years.
London currently has the highest rate of knife related incidents, however the Northwest is frighteningly ranked the fourth highest region out of ten.
In just over a 12-month period, we have seen three devastating cases of local knife crime incidents resulting in the loss of life.
Danny Fox was killed on Westfield Street on 2nd September 2016, Sam Cooke died whilst celebrating his 21st birthday on the 21st October 2017 and St Helens College student Adam Ellison lost his life whilst out in Prescot on the 4th November 2017.
IT Lecturer, Bill Newman, who taught Adam Ellison, commented: “Adam was a polite, pleasant and a funny young man. But as a lecturer, I knew, as he did, that he had a bright future ahead of him. To teach him was an honour, to have known him and to have been a small part of his life was a huge privilege.”
Adam’s mum, Joyce, went on to comment: “No child should go before a parent, the boys have been stolen from us. We want to seek justice and prevention of further incidents, to try and stop knife crime and prevent anyone else having to go through the same pain. Thank you St Helens College. The support of the staff and students means a lot.”
Adam’s sister, Jo, said: “The support makes your heart warmer and helps you. Love helps.”
Dawn, Danny’s Auntie, finished by saying: “Our hope is that the work we’re doing will bring positive changes. Hopefully the emotion behinds todays performance will resonate with the students and viewers who will reflect and share the message, making others think twice about carrying a knife.”
After receiving a nomination from Carmel College, St Helens College was keen to support the cause and has since nominated Cowley International College, Haydock High, St Helens Rugby Football Club and West Park Rugby Club, to help spread the message further.
Programme Leader for Level 3 Health and Social Care, Dave Fitzgerald, organised the community initiative at St Helens College, he commented: “I was introduced to this campaign by a friend, who was close friends with Adam Ellison. When I found out that St Helens College had been nominated, I was keen to get involved. After researching the three local victims who sadly lost their lives, it made me even more determined to help raise awareness.”