Abbot’s Hill School raises over £1,000 for Hemel Hempstead charity fighting knife crime
Billy's Wish - stamping out knife crime through education
A school in Hemel Hempstead recently raised over £1,000 for a charity that aims to educate young people against the dangers of knife crime.
The Abbot’s Hill Parents’ Association ran an Easter Raffle and Easter Egg Design Competition to raise funds for Billy’s Wish, a Hemel Hempstead charity supporting the reduction of knife crime.
The school was overwhelmed with the positive response and number of local businesses that came forward to support the raffle.
There were some amazing vouchers donated from businesses in and around the Hemel Hempstead area.
There were more than five hampers to be won - with prizes ranging from Smiggle Arts and Crafts to treats for the whole family as well as alcoholic drinks and lots of chocolate.
Abbot’s Hill School will be donating over £1,000 to Billy’s Wish through the recent fundraising.
Billy's Wish was set up in memory of Billy Dove - who was fatally stabbed while on a night out with friends in November 2011 - to educate young people against the dangers of knife crime and offer children alternatives to gang culture by promoting positive youth activity.
The charity was founded very shortly after Billy's Death by Paul Dove, Paul's partner Tanya Whitney and Sally Masson (Billy's Aunt).
Speaking on behalf of Billy's family, Sally Masson, Billy's aunt and chair of the Trustees said: "We can't wait to get back into schools with our Billy's Wish message to children.
"It's so heart-breaking to hear about knife crime in the news, even this week, when no one should have been out.
"We are thrilled with the support from AHS (Abbot's Hill School), both financially and for spreading awareness of such an important issue."
Katharine Harper, the charity's Education Officer, said: "Now it is more important than ever for Billy's Wish to reach schools.
"Local and national headlines show a widespread concern that as lockdown restrictions ease, crimes related to gangs, drugs and knives will increase due to frustrations over unresolved issues. We have started to see the reality of this at Billy’s Wish.
"With schools now fully open there has been a sharp increase in subscribers to our Education Programme, which can be taught in school.
"Worryingly, as soon as schools fully opened, we also had enquiries from teachers who have children as young as ten carrying knives.
"The money raised by AHS will go a long way help fund our school visits in the next few months.
"We know from feedback given by teachers and young people alike, that sharing Billy's story directly to pupils, in both primary and secondary schools has a huge impact.
"The amazingly generous donation will also help us to develop new ways we can support children in keeping away from knives and finding positive alternatives."