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Daniel Fox, a carer with autistic young adults, was just 29 when he was murdered in September 2016 while celebrating a friend’s birthday in St Helens.
The Daniel Fox Foundation was created in the wake of Daniel’s death by his parents Lynda and Karl Ashton with aunt Dawn Jones, as they wanted to ensure no other family went through the ordeal they endured.
The foundation has now successfully bid for money from the force’s Community Cashback Fund, funded by money seized from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act, to kick-start a Primary Prevention Programme.
They plan to use the money to fund early intervention programmes they have created and developed, which will be delivered to children aged 9-25 in local schools and higher education establishments.
The foundation is to spend it on video production, merchandise, training, a website and IT as well as a member of staff to co-ordinate the work.
Daniel’s auntie Dawn Jones said: “When we have spoken to young people about the story of how Daniel came to be a victim of knife crime, it has had a huge impact on everyone.
“We want to continue making a positive change in our communities, and our presentations and interactive workshops will allow students to learn first-hand by participating in sessions and hearing about the personal effects and consequences of knife crime.
“Through the workshops, interviews and re-enactment videos we hope to demonstrate to children and young people how to resist peer pressure and stay safe, to deter them from embarking on a life of crime and change their behaviours to benefit them as well as society as a whole.
“Our ultimate aim is to reduce the impact of knife crime and help our communities to feel safer and more cohesive.”
Dawn added: “We encourage schools to invite parents to sessions so they can understand the issues and talk to their children about knife crime.
“Everyone has a part to play in changing the mindset of people who carry knives, and we want to do what we can to create a climate where carrying knives is never acceptable on our streets.”
Superintendent Tami Garvey-Jones said: “The Daniel Fox Foundation has been doing great work ever since it was created.
“They have a powerful message to share, and when they came to us with ambitious plans to expand their efforts to educate more young people on the dangers of carrying knives, we were delighted to be in a position to help.
“This partnership ties in perfectly with our own efforts to combat knife crime. While we have carried out land searches for weapons, executed warrants and regularly stop search people if we suspect they may be carrying knives, we can’t fight knife crime alone.
“Arresting offenders and putting them before the courts, and seizing knives, is a huge part of what we do – but making sure people don’t pick up knives in the first place is just as important.
“We work closely with our partners in the local authorities and other agencies such as the prisons service and youth offending service, and the Daniel Fox Foundation can and does play a vital part in educating young people about the dangers of carrying knives to themselves and others.
“It makes it all the more satisfying that this programme has been funded with cash taken from the assets of the very criminals the police and the Daniel Fox Foundation want to remove from our streets.
“The vast majority of young people want to do something positive with their time and with their futures, free from the exploitation of criminals. Our Community Cashback Fund has allowed us to use criminals’ ill-gotten gains to fund schemes that help them do just that right across Merseyside, from community centres and boxing clubs, to a community garden.”
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