Team C2C Knife Angel Northamptonshire’s story
Angie Kennedy, our CEO, had an inspired idea! She has booked the Knife Angel to come to Northamptonshire! The “National Monument Against Violence and Aggression,” more commonly known as the “Knife Angel,” has been booked to come to Northampton for the month of June 2020.
The Knife Angel stands 27 feet (8 metres) tall and is made of over 100,000 knives, confiscated by 43 Police Forces across the country. Thirty percent of the knives used in the sculpture were bloodied on arrival and came in biohazard bags. As part of a project called “Save a Life, Surrender your Knife,” the National Ironworks Centre (in Shropshire) organised more than 40 amnesties and 200 knife banks at its own cost. Alfie Bradley, the artist, disinfected and blunted the weapons before welding them to form the angel. Families of those lost to knife violence were able to request an engraved message onto one of the sculpture’s many thousands of blades. It took over a year to build the Knife Angel after permission was granted by the Home Office to collect the knives.
Unveiled in 2017, the angel has visited several towns around the country in a campaign to reduce knife crime and violence, and raise awareness of the impact on victims and their friends and families. Mr Bradley, the creator, describes it as "a memorial to those whose lives have been affected by knife crime".
C2C Social Action will use the angelic visitation to Northamptonshire to work alongside a range of organisations in an intensive youth activity programme, in partnership with Northamptonshire Police, the Office of Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, and councils, schools, clubs and churches from around the county. The Knife Angel will be located in the plaza at the front of All Saints Church in Northampton town centre, with the kind support of Father Oliver Coss and of Derrick Simpson, Town Centre Manager. A range of youth activities will take place in the Guildhall with the support of Northampton Borough Council’s Community Safety Team.
Northampton Borough Council Cabinet member for community engagement and safety, Cllr Anna King, said: "We have all seen the devastating effects that knife crime is having on communities across the UK, including our town. We are proud to be hosting this powerful visual symbol and we will be using the opportunity of having the Knife Angel in Northampton as a catalyst for a week of action at the beginning of June, which will continue to focus on educating and informing young people with the aim of diverting them away from knife crime and violence. We are also keen for as many people as possible to come and view the sculpture, to show solidarity against violence and aggression and reflect on the role we all have in bringing about change."
Our CEO, Angie Kennedy, will be the project leader for the Angel’s visit. She says, “The Knife Angel coming to Northampton is really exciting. It is an amazing privilege to have the opportunity to host this inspirational piece of work for Northamptonshire. I hope it will highlight to young people throughout the county, that there are alternatives to gang culture and violence, that carrying a knife isn't a positive option and that there are different, positive ways to belong and reach their full potential. I would really encourage everyone to take time out during June 2020 to come along to All Saints Church in Northampton and see this amazing piece of art.”
Founder and Chair of C2C Social Action, Julie Parsons, says, “What an exciting project this is going to be! We’re hugely grateful for the funds raised so far, with a generous grant of £10,000 from Stephen Mold, the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire, and further grants so far from the Wilson Foundation, Northampton Borough Council and Wellingborough Council. We will need more funding as we want to pay for excellent youth work in the Guildhall, in schools and clubs around the county and we want to give away information packs and things to keep as a lasting reminder of the impact of the Knife Angel. Anyone can contact us on [email protected]”