Family of knife-crime victim Jodie Chesney set to launch anti-knife crime charity in dead teen's memory
PUBLISHED: 17:10 18 July 2019
The family of Jodie Chesney, the Dagenham teenager who was killed in a knife attack in Harold Hill in March, are drawing up plans to launch a charity tackling knife crime in her memory.
The 17-year-old was stabbed to death in Amy's Park on Friday, March 1 in an act of violence which shocked the nation and made headlines across the UK.
And now Peter Chesney, Jodie's father, has announced the creation of the Jodie Chesney Foundation, which will work to provide prevention, intervention, education and support to parents of young people, and children to help them steer clear of knife crime.
The organisation - awaiting Charity Commission approval - hopes to help groups who may not engage with mainstream support.
Its end goal is to help bring about the end of fatal violence by knives.
Peter said: "Needless to say this has torn our family apart. I have left my previous job and I'm lucky enough to have experienced colleagues on board who have been working in youth services for many years, as well as the full support of local leaders of Barking and Dagenham, Redbridge and Havering councils.
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"I am now dedicating my life to this cause with the hope that we can help tackle this knife crime epidemic. We appreciate any support that is available to support the Jodie Chesney Foundation."
Jodie was a girl scout with Dagenham troop Columbus-Bellahoj, and following her death a campaign to turn east London purple - her favourite colour - saw ribbons placed in prominent places across Havering, Dagenham and beyond. Many of those can still be seen today.
A march through Romford was also organised in her memory, and was attended by thousands.
Four men have been charged with Jodie's murder. Their trial is due to begin at the Old Bailey on September 2.
Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas has urged members of the public to support the foundation in its early stages.
He said: "This project has my full support.
"I hope the public will get behind it to help establish the Jodie Chesney Foundation, which aims to develop and provide prevention, intervention, and education for people most at risk of violent crime."
To support the Jodie Chesney Foundation, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/thejcf.