Frontline health and social care staff and agencies across Walsall are being given an opportunity to work more closely together and influence young people to make positive choices – thanks to a partnership with the James Brindley Foundation.
The foundation was formed in 2018 following the murder of Aldridge man James Brindley who was fatally stabbed in his home town. It brings together family members and professionals to provide an opportunity for young people to understand how the choices that they make can affect both themselves and others, now and in the future.
Its belief is that young people, including those at risk of entering the Criminal Justice System, can achieve their full potential and live a crime free lifestyle with the right support and intervention.
Members of the James Brindley Foundation, have teamed up with Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s Emergency Department Clinical Director Miss Ruchi Joshi to hold knife crime awareness sessions at Walsall Manor Hospital on Tuesday 17 September. During these sessions staff will hear first-hand about the impact that knife crime has on families and communities. They will also hear from Street Teams about potential signs and behaviour changes in young people that could indicate safeguarding concerns, as well as from West Midlands Ambulance Service colleagues about the immediate aftermath of knife crime incidents.
Former gang member James Gwilt who turned his life around will also share his story and police will talk about the preventative work being done and dispel many myths that exist around knife crime.
Mark Brindley of The James Brindley Foundation, said: “We have to work together to try and do something to address knife crime in our communities and these sessions are for frontline staff and those who work with young people – many of whom will also be parents – to be a key part of this partnership approach.
“We will always be completely overwhelmed by the loss of James but in his memory we want to honour everything he stood for and his unwavering care and consideration for others. If the work we do together can spare just one family the pain we are living with or encourage a young person to take the right path then it will be worthwhile.”
Sessions for frontline staff are being held from 10am-12noon and 2pm-4pm in the Sister Dora Theatre at Walsall Manor Hospital and places can be booked via email@example.com. Throughout the day there will be information stands and stalls in the main atrium of Walsall Manor Hospital.
An event specifically aimed at young people, #ChooseTheRightPath, will take place between 6pm and 8pm that evening and will focus on showcasing the opportunities available for them. It is being supported by local boxers and agencies and there will be prize draws and freebies on offer.