16 October 2017
A group of Derby College students have helped to organise a conference for their peers to share important messages about staying safe.
The group of students on the Level 3 Protective Services study programme, based at Broomfield Hall, have been working with Derbyshire police as ambassadors for Project Zao – an initiative to raise awareness amongst young people of the dangers of carrying a knife.
Having been involved in a number of events involving local schools – the group were instrumental in organising an event at the College’s Roundhouse where fellow students were involved in workshop activities and heard from a number of speakers about their own experiences of knife crime.
It was the latest event as part of Project Zao – a campaign led by Derbyshire police and other agencies, which aims to discourage young people in the city from carrying knives by a series of activities to educate, prevent and enforce the consequences of doing so.
Sergeant Alison Adams, a member of Derbyshire police’s Community Safety and Vulnerability Unit at St Mary’s Wharf Police Station, said: “These events are an important way of raising awareness of the consequences of carrying a knife.
“Students have heard personal experiences of the devastating consequences of knife crime from those who have lost a loved one, have treated injuries in A&E and have carried knives themselves but are now working hard to spread the word of the dangers of doing so.
“We have also heard from young people who have achieved a great deal against the odds to inspire the students to aim high and make the right choices.
“Our over-riding message at these events is – celebrate life and drop the knife.”
Chris Allwright, Personal Coach Team Manager at Derby College, said: “This event was important to spread the message amongst our student body on how we can all help to make our communities safer places to live by being aware of knife crime.
“We have a strong working relationship with Derbyshire Police to open up communications and highlight careers available to our students.
“The Protective Services students have done a brilliant job helping to run this and other Project Zao events and I hope they have helped to inspire fellow students at the College to spread these important messages back in their own curriculum areas.”
The Protective Services students have their sights set on future careers in the Uniformed Public Services and the security industry.
Among those involved in organising the event was Jordan Harby (17) from Borrowash.
He said: “These events really drive home the damage that knives can do and how much of an impact they can make on people’s lives.
“Being part of Project Zao has helped me to develop my organisation, communication, teamwork and presenting skills and I hope that it will help me in my future career in the police or fire service.”
Lauren Cheetham (18) from Oakwood added: “Knife crime does not only affect the person stabbed and the person holding the knife – it affects everyone involved including the families, doctors and police.
“Most people look back and wish they had never picked up a knife so this is a strong message to share amongst young people both at schools and colleges.”
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