In our previous group there were three teenagers who had already been stabbed and one young person who had been arrested for carrying a weapon and possession of drugs. This has been our most challenging group to date but since our project finished, one of those boys has gone on to become a school prefect and another has won an award for excellence.

While this is an encouragement, imagine how many other lives could be transformed and prolonged by investing time in our young people, improving relationships between the police and local communities and equipping parents to deal with these issues. Sadly unless there in a real community involvement we will continue to see terrifying statistics and newspaper headlines for many years to come.

What can you do?

Firstly, listen to the young people in your community and encourage them to think further into the future than what happens if they don’t attend a party or hang out with their mates after school.

Secondly, pray for the work of youth workers and other professionals working alongside these young people.

Finally, get advice from professionals and equip your community to protect our young people from the dangers they see around them every day. Our heart has to be to see more young people safe from harm. Let’s pray we can have an impact in the lives of those who could easily be the next name in a terrifying news story.

Adam Kelly is knife crime project leader for Oxygen

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