The Saving Lives After Lockdown is a campaign run by the Yorkshire Evening Post that looks at different strategies to prevent knife crime in and around Leeds post-lockdown. The campaign highlights the effect of knife crime in Leeds, ways to prevent it and looks at the impact lockdown has had on young people.
A national charity called Street Doctors has also been involved in helping to raise more awareness and has been giving training courses (run by young healthcare volunteers) in and around Leeds to young people.
Street Doctors looks to empower young people at risk and teaches skills to become part of the solution to violence, rather than just been seen as ‘part of the problem’. They also look to give young people the knowledge to make positive decisions to help keep themselves and others safe.
The volunteers at Street Doctors have been giving out various lessons to help raise and prevent knife crime. This includes teaching young people what to do if someone is stabbed, medical consequences of knife violence, and even looking at the language that we use when speaking about violence.
Frances Breeveld, Street Doctors communications and policy officer, argues that the term ‘youth violence’ suggests that young people are the cause of the problem and instead urges young people to talk about ‘young people who are affected by violence’.
To many of us, language may not seem like a big priority for tackling the issue of knife crime; however, images and headlines can have an effect on how teens see themselves and act.
How can you get involved?
Street Doctors has various programs which you can book, such as first-aid training sessions. The sessions are delivered by young healthcare volunteers across the UK (not just in Leeds). Further information on how you can sign up can be found here.