On Friday morning, the Knife Angel took flight yet again as it journeys back to its birthplace County of Shropshire. The Angel left Gateshead in Northumbria early Friday morning to travel to Telford, where it will be positioned in Southwater Square for the full month of March. A very central location in the town, Southwater Square will allow the Angel to become a pivotal focus for visitors and Telford locals alike to view the Angel and its surrounding educational material throughout the month.
During its stay in Gateshead, the Angel was located in Performance Square opposite the Sage. Here, the Angel benefited tens of thousands of people, including schools and youth groups, through the educational anti-violence workshops and awareness programmes conducted during its visit. The police amnesty and surrender conducted as part of the region’s hosting is now being evaluated and considered with regards to the success obtained in making the youths of the area think twice about carrying a knife.
Gateshead’s project was spearheaded by a mother effected by knife crime, having lost her daughter tragically to an improvised attack by someone her daughter didn’t even know. This courageous lady, Alison Madgin, and her daughter Carly encouraged the partnership of all the city’s services to work together, making this another great community effort in bringing about 28-days of youth anti-violence education. This is something the region has never done previously and now these same partners are working positively towards creating a raft of legacy initiatives that will carry on long after the Angel’s departure to Telford, ensuring that the youth of the North East continue to get the best advice and leadership possible in discouraging violent and aggressive behaviour.
Being situated in the County of Shropshire ourselves, we are completely delighted to give Telford & Wrekin the opportunity to host the Angel! Since before the Angel’s conception, we have worked very closely with the West Mercia Police force, who were the first force to join our ‘Save A Life, Surrender Your Knife’ campaign all the way back in 2015 through various amnesties and knife banks. For such a pivotal part of Shropshire to step forward and also benefit from all the hard work that West Mercia Police have put in over the years is truly exciting for all of us, and we were so excited to see the Angel arrive there last week.
Telford & Wrekin's Knife Angel Sponsors
The town are in full agreement over our requirement for all hosting locations to use the Angel to undertake 28-days of intensive educational workshops and programmes for their community youth. The town has been tasked with deputising a minimum of 10,000 young people in becoming Anti-Violence Champions through renouncing violence as a means for solving disputes and issues. Telford have also assured us that they are committed to submitting a post appraisal report one month after their hosting period, detailing how their educational programmes benefited the community and how they intend to continue their efforts going forward.
Now on the 13th leg of its National Anti-Violence Tour across the UK, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on the positive impact that the Knife Angel has had on our nation so far. The Angel’s journey is the first of its kind in Britain’s history and the only of its kind in Europe. Its tour is truly momentous and showcases our country at its most confident through grasping a serious national issue and dealing with it head-on. All locations that have hosted the Angel thus far have greatly benefitted from its message against all forms of violence, utilising it as a catalyst to educate, raise better awareness and create the social change necessary to turn the tide on violent behaviour.
The Knife Angel will remain in Southwater Square until the end of March for all of the region’s residents and visitors to see.