Chief reporter’s comment: Jodie charity is a cause we can all support

PUBLISHED: 08:00 29 February 2020

Jodie Chesney with dad Peter Chesney. The 17-year-old was fatally stabbed in the back in Harold Hill on March 1. Picture: Met Police

Jodie Chesney with dad Peter Chesney. The 17-year-old was fatally stabbed in the back in Harold Hill on March 1. Picture: Met Police


In the five years I have been a reporter here at the Recorder, the murder of Jodie Chesney stands out in awful clarity.

In my opinion, there has been nothing that has shocked and united communities across Havering - and in fact the entire country - quite like the tragic and entirely unfair events of March 1 last year that saw a totally innocent 17-year-old girl fatally stabbed in the back.

So it is a privilege, one year on from Jodie's death, to be able to share our exclusive interview with her father Peter, in which he tells us all about his plans to make sure her name lives on.

The Jodie Chesney Foundation will work towards eradicating fatal knife crime.

Even in these troubled and divisive times, I don't think any of us can be against such a noble goal.

The new charity is also coming forward with a string of initiatives aimed at producing concrete results - such as its Lighting Up Parks scheme.

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In the days after Jodie's murder, many people argued that, had the benches she and her friends been sitting on been lit up, her killers would not have gone ahead with their actions.

It's good to see that, despite the horrible hand fate has dealt the Chesney family, they are determined to make something positive of it.

Clearly Peter is very passionate about it, and the insight he gave our reporter April Roach during their interview makes for touching reading.

Everyone here at the Recorder wishes his entire family all the best at getting the Jodie Chesney Foundation up and running.

I'm sure this is not the last time you will read of the work it is doing in this newspaper.

On a more personal note, this will almost certainly be the last time you read words from me here, as I'm leaving Recorder towers early next month.

It has been an absolute pleasure to work on the Romford Recorder, the local newspaper I grew up reading, and I'd like to say one last big thank you to all our loyal readers. Best wishes to you all.

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