Grime stars, poets, bloggers and photographers have joined the Mayor of London, Sadiq Kahn, to launch a hard-hitting new anti-knife crime campaign - 'London Needs You Alive – Don't Carry a Knife'.
'London Needs You Alive' hopes to convey a positive message that will influence young Londoners not to carry a knife. Sadiq Khan went on to add, “London is the best city in the world, full of opportunity, and one of the safest. But too many of our young people are being senselessly lost to knife crime. It has to stop."
This move to inspire the capital's teenagers and young adults to resist carrying a knife comes after stabbings have already claimed the lives of 40 under-25s in London this year alone.
The campaign wants to show young people how valuable they are, not just to their family and friends but to London, as the future musicians, artists, sports personalities, scientists, comedians, politicians and role models of the city. Sadiq Khan added; "I want everyone to get involved. By showing the incredible young people of our city how much we need and value them, we could save countless lives."
With hundreds of thousands of social media followers between them, the young influencers backing the campaign include blogger The Slumflower (aka Chidera Eggerue), spoken word poet Hussain Manawer, rapper Yungen, grime MC Bossman Birdie and London photographer Tom Sloan.
Award-nominated rapper Yungen said “I know what it’s like to be from an estate and how easy it is to get caught up in drama and now I’m in a position to see there is more to life. I wanna share that with younger people who may have more potential than they feel they do.”
The campaign initially began on social media with posts under the hashtags #LondonNeedsYouAlive and #LNYA and includes a video shoot with young Londoners. The young influencers will release their own content about why they do not carry knives to their followers and encourage young Londoners to do the same, creating their own posts.
Grime MC Bossman Birdie said: “The London Needs You Alive campaign really resonated with me and I now want the opportunity to communicate to the youths of London that it is possible to make changes to create a better life if you just stick at it, whatever your skills are.”
The campaign is part of the mayor's knife crime Strategy, it will be supported by an educational toolkit for schools and community groups which will roll out in the coming months.
Sadiq Kahn said: "There is an old proverb which says it takes a village to raise a child. That means the whole community – parents, families, teachers, schools, youth clubs or social workers – playing its part and I am proud to have the support of so many talented and influential role models in launching this new campaign. These people have used their talent to achieve great things and realise their potential. Now they are helping to ensure the next generation can do the same."
Last month the Mayor held a special summit, bringing together education experts, to continue with his plans to make it mandatory for every school to have measures in place to prevent knife crime.
Watch the #LondonNeedsYouAlive campaign video below: