Student’s from Rise Together took a walk to The Rose Bowl inside Queen’s Gardens to learn about knife crime – under the watch of a three tonne sculpture.
The spectacular sculpture was made to tour the UK but has so far only been shown in Liverpool – making Hull the second city to host it. It will be visiting the city as part of the #NoMoreKnifes campaign, launched by the RICH Foundation in a bid to highlight the impact of knife crime in Hull and across the country and rid the region’s streets of knife crime
The Knife Angel was made by sculptor Alfie Bradley at the British Ironworks Centre in Shropshire. It took Mr Bradley 18 months to build and was created with 100,000 knives taken in from a national knife amnesty. Its aim is to make people aware of the consequences of knife crime, and to discourage people from carrying the weapons.
Some of the knives put onto the 27ft angel are engraved with messages from families of victims of knife crime which made a real impact on our students. Jess North, a Rise Together student said, “It is massive and I cannot believe how many knives there are. It makes me feel really sad that the knives here have hurt or killed someone. It makes me think about the dangers of carrying weapons. I will never carry a knife.”
The pupils, who were initially very nervous soon became at ease and were thrilled to be out on open waters. One learner who suffers with anxiety issues was extremely worried about the trip but once he had a taste for it he said “I can’t believe I was going to let my anxiety stop me from doing this, this is epic!” whilst another learner quoted that it “It is a once in a life time opportunity”. The pupils were great from start to finish much to the pleasure of the Captain and First mate.
The pupils undertook domestic duties of cooking, cleaning and washing whilst on deck the students were in charge of steering the boat, anchoring and navigation which every single one of them loved. The sights were breathtaking and the Tall Ship staff were extremely accommodating letting the pupils explore the beaches and islands of Arran and surrounding areas such as Greenock and Bute. As the trip came to an end all of the learners reflected on how good of an experience it was. The Captain and First mate were very complimentary about the learners and said “It was a pleasure to have them on board”. The trip was a great success and the pupils have not stopped talking about it since.
The visit was a great talking point to bring back to the classroom. Year 9 have now decided to make their own ‘Knife Angel’ within our Cleveland Street site. It proves the message the Angel travels with, which is to remind us of the dangers of carrying knives, works.
All colleagues at Rise would appeal for anyone that has a knife that they want to surrender to hand in their weapon at a local police station to rid our streets of as many weapons as we can and ensure that our children are safe. Having the Knife Angel in our city has been an honour and a privilege and stands to remind us all of the importance to raise awareness of knife and violent crime.