Born from the unprovoked stabbing of art student Oliver Hemsley.
If you would like to donate to Art Against Knives, or to register a fundraising event to support us then please visit Virgin Money Giving. To find out how we'll spend your money, please take a look at How We Spend Your Money. And for other ways of helping there is information on our How You Can Help section.

WHAT WE DO

OBJECTIVES

  • The promotion of religious and racial harmony and of equality and diversity, in particular among young people in socially or economically deprived communities and communities facing social or economic change.

  • The advancement of the education of young people, in particular in the field of the creative arts.

  • The advancement of citizenship and community development, in particular by the promotion of youth – led creative projects in socially and economically deprived communities.

  • The relief of those in need by reasons of youth, financial hardship or other disadvantage.

WHAT WE DELIVER

Through our creative workshops, we have been successful in supporting young individuals with a past in crime who need experience and opportunity to access education employment and training. We are able to provide industry experience, and exposure which other organisations do not have access to. In past projects we have worked in collaboration with brands such as DC shoes, Universal Music and Liberty to both fund projects and facilitate unique opportunities for young people.

It is our reputation within the creative industry and high profile partnerships that provide us with the unique position to make a lasting impact on those that we work with. Our fresh approach and young team helps us to approach charitable activities in new and innovative ways. We use trend analysis to engage hard to reach groups through creative projects. We understand what is on trend and what young people want to be associated with. These once in a lifetime opportunities not only build confidence and professional skills but the exposure they generate helps us to reach and inspire more young people to make a positive change.


PAST PROJECTS

Below is a selection of some of the successful projects that we have run over the past 3 years.

SPOKEN WORD 

Series of workshops exploring issues important to the young people involved, expressing views, concerns and solutions. At the end of the project participants supported Norman Jay from our stage at Lovebox Music Festival.

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A year long photography project working with 30 young creatives from Hackney in collaboration with local youth providers, Mediorite and Poached Creative. Local creative professionals led photography workshops that explored the importance of space within the community.

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FREEDOM 

In response to the London Riots we asked young people in Hackney to creatively respond to the question, What does Freedom mean to you? Works were exhibited in our BoxPark Gallery and launched an informational campaign, Stop and Talk, calling for better communication between young people and the police.

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DESIGN + MAKE 

Design and Make has run for two years, as part of  Discover Young Hackney, the council’s youth festival. We worked with 10 young people to help them develop their own brands with positive message. The programme includes business support, product development and a range of workshops with relevant industry professionals. We create pop-up shops to sell the final products as well as via our online gallery. After the project participants are supported to continue their business, or enter employment, education or training.

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2013: THIS YEAR WE WILL BE RUNNING FOUR MAIN PROGRAMMES.


ROLE MODELS // One-on-one mentoring and business support for young role models wanting to make a positive change in their communities.

Through working directly with disadvantaged Boroughs of London we support inspirational individuals striving to make long -term change in their communities. We support individual role model for 6 months, providing one-on-one mentoring, resources, bespoke training, business support to set up and sustain their own social enterprise and access to our network to help them to gain the funding and experience they need to be successful. Through supporting role models we are able to work in disengaged neighbourhoods and ensure that our work benefits those most in need.

IN OUR HANDS // A pilot project supporting the personal development of young women involved in gang culture.

The project supports the development of positive female role models in an area where there are high levels of gang crime. The weekly project provides a safe space, and community area for females on the estate encouraging interaction between young girls and women to understand the pressures they each face and solutions to individual situations. The sessions also provide individual mentoring, training and support to access education, and employment. Since October 2012 the Dollis Dolls Nail Bar has been attended by 48 females from the local estate on a regular basis.

We hope to develop this model as a sustainable, self- sufficient business through professionally training older members and supporting them in opening the nail bar in the local community. This is a pilot project, later in the year we hope to roll this model out to other Boroughs where we have already identified a demand due to the lack of provision for females involved in gang crime.

CREATIVE COLLABORATION PROGRAMME // A creative project in collaboration with the Met Police,  supporting young offenders into education, employment and training.

This project provides focused design training for young offenders from Hackney. The aim of the project is to increase confidence in the police, reduce serious gang violence and create a youth voice within community monitoring groups. Participants will design a comms campaign, empowering individuals to communicate directly with local councils, as an alternative to the large-scale unspecific anti-knife crime campaigns, which are ineffective at solving local issues.

Through the project we hope to design an innovative new approach to how we communicate the negative outcomes of involvement in gangs and violent crime, whilst supporting the young people it is targeting. We want the message to come from those with direct experience, who know how it feels to be a young person living in an underprivileged area and a clearer understanding of the social issues that lead to acts of violence.

WordFORWARD // A creative project to empower and support young people at risk of offending into education, employment and training through music.

WordFORWORD is a lyrical project working with 15 disengaged young people in East London to enhance writing skills for songwriters, hip hop artists and spoken word performers, through workshops delivered by industry professionals. At the end of the project, participants perform at high profile venues to provide exposure and access to the industry. We will then support the young people into education, employment or training.


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