Student volunteers from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) have partnered with a charity in Beaumont Leys to help tackle knife crime in some of the city’s most disadvantaged areas.
The Cooke E-Learning Foundation (known as E2), which works with teenagers and adults to address social issues in Leicestershire, has enlisted the help of #DMUlocal volunteers to talk to young people about knife crime and direct them towards positive activities happening in their community.
The street-based initiative has been funded by the Office for the Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicestershire, which donated £25,000 to the charity to deliver the project. The money will enable E2 to employ youth workers who will patrol three estates in Beaumont Leys, New Parks and Thurnby Lodge.
Leicestershire Police's ongoing #LivesNotKnives campaign is also supported by Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicestershire, Lord Willy Bach, and aims to reduce the number of people carrying bladed weapons in the city.
Lives Not Knives
Amina Lunat, Public Engagement Coordinator for #DMUlocal, said: “We felt it was extremely important that our student volunteers got involved as knife crime is such a major issue for young people at present.
“Our academics are already doing important research work in this area and this is the next level as communities try to tackle the problem.”
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E2 has a wealth of experience in delivering youth sessions that address knife crime, as well as teaching and organising peer educators who work intensively with habitual knife carriers that are referred through agencies such as Leicestershire Police.
Martin Buchanan, Chief Executive of E2, said: “We are really grateful to The Office for the Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicestershire, Lord Bach, who has recognised the invaluable work we do in Beaumont Leys and beyond. We aim to direct a minimum of 25 young people away from the streets towards positive activities, to reassure communities and reduce knife crime.
“One of the things that makes this project possible is our previous experience and knowledge of the issues around knife crime. Part of our current work includes academic research with DMU which will highlight any theories and research that will help to underpin the educational resource we will be sending out to schools and community groups in and around Leicestershire.”
Lord Willy Bach said: “I’m proud to support E2’s work once again and have every confidence their experienced youth workers will help make a difference to vulnerable young people who need support and guidance to manage the influences in their lives.
“E2 has a proven track record of turning around lives, working with young people and their parents to bring about meaningful change. Many young people have already been transformed through its intervention and this new work will expand those opportunities for reform, working “on the street” in areas known to trigger aggression and violence among young people.”
Posted on Thursday 23rd May 2019