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Sefton schoolchildren take part in massive relay race for kNOwKnifeCrime campaign

1 month ago

Around 1700 children from Sefton took part in a massive relay race in a united stand against knife crime.

Pupils from primary and secondary schools across the borough joined together today (17 April) in the event which aims to raise awareness, as well as cash to fund KnifeSavers bleed control kits.

It was organised by Christina Greaves, head at Kew Woods Primary School and the director of primary education within Southport Learning Trust.

Christina is an active member of the kNOwKnifeCrime Campaign founded by Laura Hughes, whose brother Colin McGinty was stabbed and killed in 2001 when he was only 21 years old, and the race is one of a number of events being held this week to drive home the vital message.

Laura, 41, from Formby, says: “Knife crime has become more of a normalised conversation, and every child I speak to knows about knife crime – even those as young as eight.

“We know it is an issue, and we are trying to empower young people to stand against knife crime and make our communities safe.

Colin McGinty
Colin McGinty

“This week is a big week for our campaign which has two goals; to make sure children and young people know about knife crime and are educated about it, that they know the consequences of carrying a knife, and to raise money for KnifeSavers bleed control kits which can save lives in the event of a knife attack.”

In the relay race tomorrow 20 children from each school in the Southport, Formby, Crosby, and Bootle areas will run to the next school, using a symbolic KnifeSavers bleed control kit as the baton.

They will cover a total of 82 miles in the collective push dedicated to combating youth knife crime in the area.

“Knife crime has become more prevalent than it’s ever been,” adds Laura, “and we move on from it too quickly.  It’s another family, another story.

“I’m a mum with older children. As well as step-children who are grown up I have a boy of 16 and one who’s 10, and I can’t be with them wherever they go – but I can make them and their peers aware, and make wherever they are and go as safe as possible.

“All of this is in Colin’s memory so that, hopefully, no other family has to go through what we went through.”

Members of the kNOwKnifeCrime campaign team with their children who are taking part in the relay event tomorrow. Laura's son Harrison is wearing the cap
Members of the kNOwKnifeCrime campaign team with their children who are taking part in the relay event tomorrow. Laura’s son Harrison is wearing the cap

As well as the relay race, around 35,000 children in Sefton will unite throughout the week in the TCS Mini London Marathon schools’ virtual event to complete 2.6 miles.

On Saturday 54 children from the Southport Learning Trust will represent the region and the campaign by taking part in the TCS Mini London Marathon in the capital.

And Laura, along with six other kNOwKnifeCrime campaigners, will take part in the TCS London Marathon itself on Sunday.

The kNOwKnifeCrime Campaign was set up almost five years ago in 2019 when Laura and her brothers, Robert, Michael, and David McGinty, wanted do something to commemorate what would have been Colin’s 40th birthday, and challenged each other to run the Rock n’Roll Half Marathon in Liverpool.

But that snowballed, and now hundreds of supporters have competed in sporting and running events across the world in aid of the Campaign and in memory of Colin who lost his life after a frenzied knife attack that Merseyside Police confirmed was a tragic case of mistaken identity.

Laura at Bedford Primary School with the children travelling to London to take part in the mini marathon.
Laura at Bedford Primary School with the children travelling to London to take part in the mini marathon.

Laura, who is also an ambassador for KnifeSavers, founded by trauma doctors at Aintree University Hospital to help people deal with the blood loss caused by knife injuries, says: “Our ultimate goal is to have KnifeSavers’ bleed control kits in every place where young people might gather.

“A person can bleed to death in just five minutes from a single stab wound, and the kits contain gauze with a coagulant so that if you stuff a wound with it, it forms a clot and then you apply pressure. It can make all the difference in stopping a person bleeding to death – it buys time until the ambulance arrives, and the medical professionals can take over and get them to hospital.”

“As a family it is easier to deal with what happened knowing that we are doing something positive,” says Laura. “It was terrible and sadly we can’t go back and change things.

“But we can go forward and create something good from something so bad.

“Our work and all the events this week underscore our commitment to raising awareness and taking tangible action against knife crime. We are immensely grateful for the support and participation of everyone involved in making these initiatives a success, and throughout them thoughts and memories of Colin are never far from our minds.”

For more info on KnifeSavers click here.

For the latest news in Liverpool click here.



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