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Havering anti-knife crime charity appeals for urgent volunteers for patrols as schools return

PUBLISHED: 07:00 09 September 2020

Take a Knife Save a Life with the new minibus in Hornchurch. Picture: Ellie Bailey

Take a Knife Save a Life with the new minibus in Hornchurch. Picture: Ellie Bailey

Ellie Bailey

As children go back to school and as government guidelines encourage them to take public transport as little as possible, an anti-knife crime charity is appealing for volunteers for street patrols.

Take a Knife Save a Life volunteers with founder Stephen Gowers and mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey. Picture: TaksalTake a Knife Save a Life volunteers with founder Stephen Gowers and mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey. Picture: Taksal

Take A Knife Save A Life, or Taskal charity was set up in the wake of the murder of 17-year-old Jodie Chesney from Harold Hill who was stabbed in the back in a case of mistaken identity in March 2019.

The charity had aimed to get the school movement patrols set up and ready by the time schools return but has been delayed because of a lack of funds due to Covid-19 as well as some administration hurdles.

Organiser Stephen Gower says the need for the patrols are even more urgent now that children are being urged to walk to and from school to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

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He said: “Parents need to have confidence that it’s safe for their kids to walk to school, it’s better for the environment and we want to be encouraging kids to cycle and do more exercise.

“All people need to do is just to stand outside their house for a few hours at key times as someone to go to in case of any need, we want to have people dotted all over Havering there to safeguard.”

All volunteers are DBS checked and can get DBS checked via the charity, many have mental health first aid training, which Stephen says largely involves looking out for subtle signs of distress. The team has a minibus, a qualified mobile security team, a defibrillator,

The next couple of months will see the charity getting council approval, who are apparently also looking at ways they can support the charity, they also hope to recruit more volunteers to kick start the patrols before the nights close in.

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