22/03/2010 by mcmakarolyn
MC&MA’s contribution the national anti-knife crime campaign ‘Count Me In’ was an undoubted success. Our extended coverage includes interviews and images of last week’s event.
Barry Fishwick, Executive Principal of MC&MA
Brooke Kinsella mentioned that 2,000 people have signed up to Count Me In at the end of launch day. How does it feel to be part of an initiative that has had such an impact?
“It feels marvellous because virtually overnight we could double that total.
It feels great to be part of a big groundswell of change that’s coming through because that’s we’re all about – change. Changing the academy, changing the community, changing the nation. The world next!”
How do you feel today has gone?
“Very positive; both for the community and hopefully for the future, but also for the kids involved. They have really risen to the event and I feel very proud of them. It’s a unique opportunity for them, and I think from a self esteem point of view they must feel so good. They looked so good.”
In your initial speech, you spoke about how knife crime isn’t a problem in the area.
“The point is, it’s everywhere in every community, and the more we raise awareness here the better it will be for our kids. Of course we can’t forget the impact they have on other communities so hopefully that will transfer across other parts of Greater Manchester and ultimately nationwide, as it is part of a nationwide programme.”
Trevor Grant, youth worker from Rathbone
Could you tell me more about Rathbone’s project?
“It’s called No Knives More Lives. What we’ve done with the school, as opposed to directly dealing with knife crime itself we looked at the behavioural issues surrounding it. For instance, if you’ve got low self esteem, chances are you’re not going to feel good in a confrontational situation; you could use a knife. If you have anger management problems, that could lead you to making the wrong decision. Self respect is another one, because statistically, more girls are starting to become more violent against each other.”
What do you think the girls have got out of the project?
“I’d like to think, in terms of their behaviour and the way they control themselves, they’re more aware of it. One thing for definite, is their personal safety. A lot of the girls were unaware of the fact that it’s illegal to flag down a taxi, and unaware of specific taxi firms that are women only. So what we did was to make little Rathbone taxi cards, because sooner or later they’re gonna be going into town – they may sneak off to town – so they need get home safely.
“For me it’s about managing yourself, carrying yourself, having respect for yourself and controlling your anger.”
For more images of the ‘Count Me In’ campaign, see below: