Hackney young people support new campaign saying ‘No to Knives’

Members of Hackney Youth Parliament (HYP) were among the guests to join the Prime Minister and leading figures from government, sport, music and business at the launch of the new national coalition saying ‘No to Knives’ last month.

Gordon Brown was joined by Richard Taylor, Rio Ferdinand, John Terry, Austin Healey, Brooke Kinsella and other campaign ambassadors to help launch the coalition on December 11.

Thirteen young people from HYP, aged 14 -16, met with families and community groups who have direct experience of knife crime. They were selected to visit Downing Street as the Prime Minister appealed to young people not to carry knives.

The young people’s energy, enthusiasm, and engagement with the campaign and events on the day were an impressive exemplar of their commitment and work with Hackney’s Youth Service.

The Prime Minister’s Office has since been in touch through the Youth Participation Team to convey praise and thanks to the young people, and to support their continued involvement with the campaign’s steering group.

“This is a great campaign with high profile people helping to raise awareness of knife crime across the country,” said Matthew Oyetunji, 14, member for North East. “It’s a step in the right direction that will involve young people. I’m proud we were at the launch to represent Hackney."

Over the next year HYP will be consulting with key decision makers and delivering a series of innovative and exciting events and activities to hundreds of young people across the borough. They aim to raise awareness, open debate and engage their peers on a range of issue affecting young people in Hackney, including tackling knife crime.

The Government has announced £20 million of new funding for community organisations to provide activities and support for young people, and the No to Knives coalition will work to help prevent young people from becoming involved with carrying knives.