Organisers of the Knife Angel tour are appealing for volunteers to help in Hereford this summer.
The sculpture took over two years to create from over 100,000 knives received from 43 police forces across the UK and will be hosted by Hereford Cathedral for 28 days in June.
The team responsible for bringing the Knife Angel to Hereford is headed by Alison Davies, who lost her son, Mark, to knife crime in 2018, and Meryl Cain. Together with a small group of friends, the team is aiming to offer a wide range of events when the Knife Angel comes to Hereford to encourage dialogue within the community about the impact of violence and knife crime in particular. They also hope that the presence of the Knife Angel will drive footfall to the city as people come to see this remarkable sculpture.
The events the team is hoping to put on include:
• A series of free public workshops and interactive events at Hereford Cathedral, and other venues in the city
• A national conference to engage with professionals in related spheres
• A dedicated youth conference, identifying young people’s needs and issues which they feel have a negative impact on them and their community
• A weapons amnesty, approved by West Mercia Police (a secure weapon surrender bin travels with the Knife Angel)
• An opening ceremony and closing vigil.
The scale of events will depend on how much support can be garnered from communities in Herefordshire and beyond.
In order to achieve its ambitions, the team needs sponsors and volunteers to come forward to help however they can, including by:
• Offering pro-bono services, or services or materials at a reduced rate, eg: security, insurance, road haulage/craneage, printing/advertising, catering, lighting and PA systems
• Helping with visitors/groups arriving to see the Knife Angel
• Assisting with workshops for children of all ages (DBS checks will be required)
• Devising and organising fundraising events/initiatives
• Spending time with visitors who have been affected by trauma and signpost them to further support.
Alison Davies comments: “By bringing the incredible Knife Angel to Hereford, I wanted to raise awareness of the catastrophic impact violent crime has on families, individuals and communities and to encourage discussion among all elements of our community, from our young people to the general public, through to the authorities who have to manage the consequences and provide support of different kinds to both victims and perpetrators.
“For me personally it is helping me to have something positive to focus on following the senseless death of my son Mark.
“I do hope that Herefordshire businesses and individuals will step forward to support the Angel’s visit to Herefordshire in any way they can in order to raise awareness of the devastating impact violence has on all our lives.”
All those who are interested in getting involved in any capacity should email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, anyone wishing to make a donation can do so via the Hereford Knife Angel’s Just Giving Page: https://www.justgiving.com/knifeangelhereford.