"'We must be ready to learn from one another, not claiming that we alone possess all truth and that
somehow we have a corner on God." - Desmond Tutu -
Working to Prevent Knife Crime
It seems that almost every week we hear of a new victim of knife crime. We all see and are horrified at the rising statistics. We recognise the importance of taking seriously the threat to this generation of children and one approach surely must be that we teach them about the dangers and how to avoid them. To help us understand what is available to schools, we spoke to Jason O'Shea from Operation Forgiveness. Knowing that serious youth violence is at an all-time high and that ‘Knife Crime’ is now called an epidemic, the charity aims to make a difference through prevention. Jason says “We believe early intervention promotes prevention”.
Operation Forgiveness runs free courses for schools sharing the ripple effects of negative actions and they take time to look at forgiveness to consider the value of life. Whilst this is done from a Christian perspective, they ensure the course is accessible to all faith groups.
The Head Teacher at St Mary Magdalen’s Catholic Primary School described the workshops as ‘amazing’ and was impressed with how much the children learnt. She went on to say: ‘I am going to share your details with other Heads in Lewisham and in other boroughs as your message has to be shared with as many people as possible.’
In a Tweet following a workshop a spokesperson for St James Hatcham primary school in New Cross, thanked London City Mission for the "powerful and inspirational 'Operation Forgiveness' workshops", stating that the work they do is life changing.
Jason runs Operation Forgiveness, along with his wife Tayo and her Mum Sarah whose youngest son was murdered at the age of 15. For more information you can visit their website which is listed below.
The Ben Kinsella Trust:Ben Kinsella was tragically murdered in an unprovoked knife attack in Islington in June 2008. The Ben Kinsella Trust was setup by Ben's family shortly after his murder to campaign against knife crime and to educate young people about the dangers of carrying a knife. http://www.benkinsella.org.uk/