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Knife Angel departs following a month of awareness raising and intervention work

27th February 2020

More than 1,000 students have been educated on the chilling impact of knife crime after a phenomenal artwork came to the region.

The Knife Angel departs the region tomorrow, following a month long stay in Gateshead that has seen impactful workshops delivered to nearly 40 schools, youth groups and colleges. Through the workshops, more than 1,000 students have heard Samantha’s story and listened to the lasting damage suffered by the Madgin family following the horrifying murder of 18-year-old Samantha in 2007.

Samantha’s Legacy, ran by Alison & Carly Madgin, the mother and sister of Samantha, have been present at the Angel every day since its arrival on 30th January, delivering the workshops, engaging with visitors to the monument, and ensuring Samantha’s story is heard far and wide.

The month long stay, supported by Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness, Northumbria Police, Gateshead and Newcastle City Councils has seen high engagement and foot fall since its arrival.

Carly said: “This month has been overwhelming. The reaction and support we have received has been incredible. While there has been many tears throughout the month, I know Samantha will be looking down on us, smiling and proud of the work we are doing.

“Everyone we have engaged has been so respectful – the feedback following our sessions has been moving and emotional, but it’s important young people hear our story and learn from it.”

The workshops delivered by the family are hard-hitting, detailing the horrific events that led to the murder of Samantha Madgin, and the effects it had on the family and still has to the day.

Students attending the workshops are also informed on the wider legal ramifications of carrying a knife by Northumbria Police and the services available to young people who may need help and support in relation to this issue.

Alison, whose daughter had only given birth 68 days before being losing her life, spoke emotionally about the work the charity has delivered this month and the impact they hope to have had.

She said: “I am extremely passionate about supporting young people. When we campaigned for the Knife Angel to come to the North East, we wanted to use it to reach young people and help them understand the impact knife crime can have.

“Through our sessions, even if we have changed just one person’s thoughts on carrying a knife, then it has been a success. No family should have to suffer like we have.

“Seeing the region come together this month, supporting our message and sharing Samantha’s story has been amazing. The opening ceremony, where we had families who had lost someone to a knife share their heartbreak, should be enough to deter anyone from carrying.”

 The visit of the Knife Angel, a monument made of 100,000 knives, has been supported by a range of organisations, including the Police & Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness.

Kim said: “I am so proud of Alison and Carly, and the work they have put in this month. One victim of knife crime is one too many, and understanding what causes people to think they have to carry a knife is critical to tackling the issue. We want to get in there and prevent crime tacking place, giving everyone in the region the best chance in life.

“No family should have to suffer as the Madgins have, and through my Violence Reduction Unit, we are working hard to ensure that young people are given a chance to do something with their life. That means finding them alternatives to crime and targeted work on those who are already caught up in violence and gang culture. If we support young people we can reduce crime and save lives. “

The civic departure of the Knife Angel will take place at 5pm on Thursday 28th February at its location on Performance Square outside Sage Gateshead. It will then depart the region the following day and bring to an end its stay in the North East.