Charlton Athletic players visit Street Violence Ruins Lives workshop


Charlton Athletic Community Trust’s (CACT’s) annual Street Violence Ruins Lives (SVRL) Day will be taking place at The Valley on Saturday 10 September ahead of Charlton Athletic’s match against Exeter City.

This year marks 14 years since the Club and CACT launched the campaign in response to the tragic death of 18-year-old Charlton fan Rob Knox. In late 2008, CACT joined up with the Rob Knox Foundation, run by Rob’s parents Sally and Colin, to set up the SVRL campaign against knife and gun crime aiming to raise awareness in the community about the devastating impact of street violence.

As part of the initiative, CACT offers a variety of support to young people across South East London and Kent through a mixture of diversionary activities and targeted intervention.

Recently, CACT teamed up with charity YourStance to educate staff and participants in youth hubs about how to deliver life-saving treatment in cases of serious youth violence. This training can then be used if faced with a serious case of violence to de-escalate and aim to provide the best care possible.

This week, Charlton Athletic’s Corey Blackett-Taylor and Charlton Athletic Women players Melissa Johnson and Sian Rogers joined a YourStance training session on emergency trauma with 9 young people to learn how to respond in certain situations.

Reflecting on the workshop, Corey said:

“I think it’s important just to see what actually goes on and what the doctors have to go through, the whole trauma behind all the incidents that could happen, so they understand how stressful it is and how much grief it causes people.”

Sian added:

“I think it’s something that is very important and the hands on approach in terms of teaching the people that came in so you understand what’s happening in those situations, I thought, was really good and gave them an insight in what would happen in that situation and how they can help.”

Ahead of Saturday’s match, three young people who took part will be presented with their certificates by Ana Waddington, Nurse and Founder of Your Stance, Martin Griffiths, National Clinical Director (Violence Reduction) for NHS England and a CACT Trustee, and a Charlton Athletic player.

CACT staff members and participants will continue to have training sessions with Your Stance over the coming weeks. These sessions go hand-in-hand with preventative work, for example CACT’s interactive County Lines & Exploitation Workshop which teaches young people about the dangers of getting involved in county lines operations as well as the Premier League Kicks and Inspires programmes. The County Lines workshop has been delivered to over 6000 young people since September 2021.

CACT’s wider crime reduction work also includes targeted intervention through 1-1 mentoring. This is offered to young people who have shown signs of negative behaviour, for example carrying a knife or being gang affiliated, and aims to help them make positive life choices. From April 2021 to April 2022, 6000 hours of mentoring were delivered by our mentors.

To find out more about CACT’s SVRL campaign, click here.

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