Anti-knife campaign aims to steer youngsters away from crime - The Leamington Observer

Anti-knife campaign aims to steer youngsters away from crime

Leamington Editorial 2nd Jul, 2021   0

AN ANTI-KNIFE campaign based is aiming to steer young people in Warwickshire away from a life of crime.

Founder Ben Spann launched the campaign after friends were affected by knife attacks in Leamington. Ben himself had avoided jail, after being involved in growing cannabis, and saw the impact county lines drug dealing – street level drug dealing which exploits young people and adults – was having locally.

The 35-year-old is working with sports, youth facilities and schools in Warwickshire and Coventry to pass his and others’ first-hand experiences of life in prison and how they ‘regret the stupid decisions’ they made in their younger days.

Among his various projects to keep young people from a life of crime, Ben has raised funds for a ‘bleed control box’, designed to stem the loss of blood, and providing knife or gun attack victims life-saving extra minutes until emergency services arrive.

Ben is also setting up a football team for those affected by drug crime.

He said: “I thought it would be a great idea to help create awareness to use our campaign name and help direct our youth into something positive. I decided this would be a great idea if we could direct at solely at the most vulnerable age group to be affected by county lines. We will provide the equipment and kits needed but the team will be purely in the hands of the new manager.

“I am currently run off my feet working full time and running the campaign which has really started to pick up. I have found myself in meetings every day for the last four weeks which a positive because it means we are now being noticed within our community.”

Ben’s campaign also runs free pop-up boxing sessions.

He added: “We have brought boxing to local community centres free of charge for kids aged between ten and 16. We want to teach our youth the basics and fundamentals of boxing with the hope that they will further their skills with the many great local boxing facilities we have in Leamington.”

Among the clubs already involved are Leamington Spa Amateur Boxing Club and ACES Boxing Club as well as local sporting celebrities and they have helped young people attend gyms and sports clubs, as well as getting them the kit they need to join in.

Those between ages 16 and 25 interested in joining the football team can contact the campaign team via its Facebook page ‘Change Your Life Put Down Your Knife’. We are looking for players with any experience.

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