By Hugh McGouran - CEO of TVCF
You may have seen from news reports and our Facebook page (click here to follow for all our grant and giving news!) Middlesbrough welcomed a powerful piece of sculpture this week – a commanding 27 foot tall Knife Angel, made from more than 100,000 surrendered weapons.
TVCF has funded the £12k transportation costs of bringing this imposing sculpture to her place in Centre Square, in the heart of Middlesbrough town centre, where it will stand for one month of her tour UK towns and cities.
Made entirely from more than 100,000 surrendered weapons, including blades handed in to Cleveland Police, the angel is poignantly inscribed with the names of knife crime victims and messages from their loved ones in a bid to raise awareness.
Knife crime is on the rise across the UK and while it’s really good to know Teesside is bucking this national rise with a 10% decrease from the previous year, the figures are much, much higher than in 2010 when records for this offence began.*
A high-impact image like the Knife Angel, and its back story (Knife Amnesty) will have a huge and lasting impact on young minds and may help divert activity before the risk of it happens.
The communal aspect of the arrival of such an object gives the feeling of ‘we’re all in this together’. It’s not the police on the outside - it’s a statement of the whole community and of a pulling together – sharing the pain, the impact, the size of the issue.
The Angel gives both an actual and spiritual focus on an important and relevant issue of our community, especially our youngsters, and a commanding, high-impact image says more than a thousand words can.
By supporting important initiatives like this, TVCF wants to dispel the myth that says: ‘Yeah, I know it’s happening, but what difference will I make on my own?”.
Our partners at PD Ports and Tees Offshore Windfarm agreed with us and have expressed it by making money available to bring the Knife Angel to Teesside.
Every single person and business in Tees Valley can make a difference -TVCF is passionate about galvanising the community and local businesses in bringing issues like this out into the open, and to stimulate a feeling of responsibility.
This striking Knife Angel, which was born from violence and aggression, has provided us with our first positive step on that collective journey.
For more information on how you or your company can get involved, click here.
Thanks for reading,
*Office of National Statistics