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Knife Crime Awareness for Young People onboard MELISSA

Knife crime is an ongoing and urgent problem across the country with the highest rates experienced in London, West Midlands and here in the North East.

Lucy Zakeri who is the Educational lead at CBC Health Foundation and Project Lead for the Gateshead Youth Academy described there being over 14,000 violent attacks taking place within the North East throughout 2022, leading to CBC creating a dedicated service to educate and empower the public, bringing greater awareness of knife crime whilst aiming to reduce to the amount of incidents taking place.

Why teaching knife crime is important?

Education is essential to change cultures, deterrents, custodial sentences, punishments don't appear to have the same affect on young people than education has. However setting the right level of education is important.

Young people told us that they wanted the opportunity to receive our First Aid training in their own environment where they felt safest, they didn't want mainstream First Aid courses they wanted their sessions to be relevant to them and contextualised.

Since Young Responders started delivering sessions in March 2023, we have adapted our sessions making them the most relevant we can and are still developing what we deliver as we get the opportunity to work with young people from difference backgrounds with various levels of ability.

We help break down barriers, dispel myths and share real life stories when we deliver so our young people understand the implications of carrying knives in the hope they make better life choices.

We also give them skills they can use should they find themselves in a situation where someone needs their support after a stabbing to try and sustain life while they wait for emergency service to arrive.

The MELISSA bus was booked to facilitate a session on 11.04.2024 at Gateshead Council’s Learning Skills Centre. The Gateshead Youth Academy in collaboration with St John Ambulance delivered bespoke First Aid awareness to around 16 students as well as dealing with simulated knife crime.

The knife crime session was delivered as part of the Gateshead Youth Academy, where young learners are invited to meet with professionals from a wide range of job roles within the Health & Care sector over the course of 5 days, to take part in interactive sessions, and gain a better understanding of all the different career paths out there within the health & care sector.

This is just the beginning as MELISSA will be returning on 22.08.2024 to support CBC and St John Ambulance with a view to booking additional dates in the near future.

Ian Bayliss (Young Responder’s Facilitator for St John Ambulance) provided invaluable training on the day and has kindly provided a link to promote the importance of this/and similar initiatives. Please take a look and share.


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