Community activist offers students’ solutions to help tackle knife crime
15th March 2024
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Malachi is the founder, director and behaviour mentor at Ambitious Lives - a youth service provider for disadvantaged young people with challenging behaviours.

The celebrated local community ambassador is a passionate advocate for youth - actively campaigning against exploitation, knife crime, gangs and youth violence.

Through his dedication and advocacy, Malachi strives to create safer and more empowered communities for young people.

Among other accolades, Malachi has recently been awarded with the Black Owned Birmingham Award for Inspirational Person of the year 2023 and features in a mural in LoveBrum’s ‘Hidden Heroes’ campaign.

Speaking of the engaging youth-focused event, Malachi said: “It was great to come to the college today to share my experience and knowledge, to try to make a positive impact on and difference to students.

“My aim is to change the perspectives of the younger generation, who can be confused about a lot of challenging things happening in society. Giving them the tools to be able to deal with a complex topic like knife crime is invaluable and rewarding to me.

“I work with issues on the frontline and know that there can be problems with young people. I was pleased that the learners felt comfortable enough to open up to me and others during the sessions, through a safe space.”

The engaging session, which included a Q&A and a “myth busting segment” enabled students to discuss and explore knife crime, by reflecting on current and personal issues.

The reasons for and consequences of carrying a knife were thoroughly examined, with real life anecdotal stories by Malachi and videos featuring others in the local community.

Here’s what some of the student attendees had to say:

Aiden: “I am pleased I came, as the eye-opening session helped me to see things in a different way and have a better understanding of how the issue of knife crime can be positively tackled. Malachi helped me to perceive things differently, including from a psychological point of view.”

Miya: “It was a very educational and informative session and I particularly liked how Malachi delivered it, with a personal touch. It helped us to see knife crime in reality and how it affects not only us, but our friends and families also.”

Nash: “This is the best session I have ever been to that addresses knife crime. I really connected with Malachi and he brought to light both facts and myths. I am reflecting on the session and will speak up if I can see friends or family heading down the wrong path!”

Maria: “Malachi brought an important topic to life “beyond the PowerPoint!” Most of us know or know of people that have been affected by knife crime, so the topic really resonated with us. I have learned some useful tools, that will help me if I come across anyone carrying a knife.”

The Anti-Knife Crime Awareness Session was put on as part of the college’s Tutorials ‘Inspirational Voices Element”, that is designed to inspire and raise aspirations among students at BMet.

Natalie Simmonds-Alleyne, Tutorials Development manager, who puts together a range of personal development events  across campuses to raise awareness on real life issues that are of relevance to young people said: “It is so important to be able to invite inspirational individuals, groups and speakers from the local Birmingham and surrounding areas to come and engage with our students. In particular those that are from a BAME background”

“Representation matters. So, when inspirational speakers like Malachi come in from an African Caribbean background, I know that students will be able to relate to him, his personal story and journey and as a result they are positively impacted.”

Laura Salt, AAT lecturer at the college, who brought along many of her students, due to her passion for such tutorials said: “I wanted our students to have a deep and personal experience of an ever-growing societal issue and felt that having such an esteemed speaker, who was local to our college, would enable our students to not only relate but also acquire invaluable knowledge and skills, that they can use whilst at college and beyond.

“Malachi gave a mature insight into knife crime and let students know their responsibilities in helping alleviate it. He was so engaging and brought the issue close to home.”

According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), knife crime recorded by the police in the year ending September 2023, has increased by 5 per cent (48,716) compared with 46, 367 in the year ending September 2022.  

ONS data also shows that in 2022/23, West Midlands Police recorded the highest rate of 178 knife crime offences per 100,000 population.

BMet is committed to ensuring young people are educated and aware of the dangers of knife crime and continually works with community groups on preventative measures.  

About the Author

Ian Henery

Member since: 4th February 2019

Presenter Black Country Radio & Black Country Xtra

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