The No More Red campaign by Arsenal and adidas underlines Islington Council’s commitment to standing with its communities, supporting young people’s safety, and tackling knife crime and youth violence. Islington Town Hall was also lit in white last night in solidarity with No More Red.Members of parents’ support group Love and Loss were joined at Emirates Stadium by Leader of the Council Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz and Chief Executive Linzi Roberts-Egan, alongside parent champions from the Violence Reduction Unit-funded Islington and Camden Parent Champions Support Project.
Cllr Comer-Schwartz said: “We stand with our communities against knife crime and violence. Our number one priority is supporting our young people, keeping them safe and giving them the best possible start in life, and we fully support the No More Red campaign.
“I was humbled and honoured to see – and be part of – this important show of unity at The Emirates yesterday, alongside local people who have personal experience of the devastating effects of knife crime and who have gone on to support other parents affected by it.
“It was an especially poignant moment as this month also marks the first and third anniversaries of the deaths of two of our young people due to knife crime.
“We’re absolutely committed to tackling knife crime, as every knife safely taken off our streets could be another life saved.
“Just like No More Red, our long-term work with Arsenal in the Community is about supporting young people’s belief in their own abilities, helping them to thrive and empowering them to shape their own, bright futures. We know that to tackle this issue in Islington, we must continue to work together as a community.”
Islington Council stands with its communities so they are safe, connected and inclusive. It works closely with Arsenal in the Community, both on and off the pitch, to help support young people – and with the Arsenal Foundation, which has funded a knife bin near the stadium in Hornsey Road. The knife bin is one of eight across the borough that have taken more than 1,000 knives and other bladed items off the streets since October 2020.
The positive impact of the No More Red campaign has been seen already in Islington with the refurbishment of the much-loved football pitch on the Harvist Estate, near Emirates Stadium.
Tanisha Appleton of the Love and Loss support group said: “As families affected by knife crime, we fully support the No More Red campaign and its mission to raise awareness. Knife crime is still happening, families are still suffering and it’s important for people to know that.”Freddie Hudson, Head of Community, Arsenal in the Community said: “We know young people face multiple challenges as they grow up in today’s world and some need protecting from the pressure of negative influences.
“We are proud to have a long-standing partnership with Islington and their wide range of support services stretching back more than three decades. Together we have created numerous safe places in the heart of communities across the borough, with sustained projects delivered from these facilities providing an important sense of belonging for young people. It’s rewarding to see this approach working consistently and shows that together we can support young people and help keep them safe.
“The No More Red campaign launched by Arsenal and adidas builds on our long-standing work by investing in more quality, safe spaces and educational opportunities that help individuals make better, informed choices about their future. We’re grateful to have Islington’s support as we continue to send a wider message that by pursuing your talent and focusing on aspirations and positive influences, there are alternatives.”
For more information on No More Red, see www.Arsenal.com/NoMoreRed
Love and Loss
Love and Loss was set up by Jennifer Appleton in 2016 following the murder of her son Stefan Appleton in June 2015. Jennifer and her family were determined to support other families, who like them have experienced the tragic loss of a family member as the result of murder. Jennifer and her family established a support group for bereaved families which meets monthly at the Arsenal Community hub in Islington. The group offers friendship and understanding, therapeutic activities and a warm and compassionate environment for bereaved families to come together.
All members of Love and Loss are deeply passionate about sharing their own tragic experiences and want to do everything they can to prevent violent knife crime and keep young people safe. With the assistance of Islington Council, Love and Loss helped make a knife harm prevention film with the Islington Youth Offending Service, featuring 11 bereaved families. It is being shown to young people in schools and youth work settings and has been endorsed by the London Violence Reduction Unit, the Youth Justice Board and the Metropolitan Police. In recognition of their courage and determination to help other families, Love and Loss received an Islington Mayor’s Civic Award in April 2021.
No More Red
The 10 outfield all-white shirts worn by Arsenal in their Emirates FA Cup tie against Nottingham Forest were presented to organisations doing work in the community to address some of the root causes of knife crime and youth violence at yesterday’s match. These organisations are:
Arsenal in the Community
The Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation
Don’t Stab Your Future (DSYF)
Box Up Crime
Copenhagen Youth Project
St Giles Trust
Octopus Community Network
The Ben Kinsella Trust