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Charity details

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Leagas Delaney,1 Alfred Place

+44 (0)2077 581 758

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ART AGAINST KNIVES was born from the unprovoked stabbing of Oliver Hemsley, a 21-year-old student from Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design. The attack, which left Oliver in a wheelchair, took place in Shoreditch (East London) in August 2008. ART AGAINST KNIVES began life as an exhibition organised by Oliver’s friends, and fellow Central Saint Martin’s students to raise money and awareness a year after he was attacked. The event gained an unbelievable support, including some of the biggest names in art and fashion with work donated by Tracey Emin, Rankin, Antony Gormley, Christopher Kane, and Banksy, amongst others. It became clear just how wide spread the affects of violent crime were within the local community.

We run creative projects with young people involved in, or at risk of violent crime, in their own communities. We believe that the most effective way to provide sustainable opportunities for young people is by supporting their ideas. We co-ordinate resources and expertise of existing grass-root organisations and engage with local businesses and creatives to implement these solutions. Our projects forge partnerships, instigate collaboration and develop communication within the community.

It is our reputation within the creative industry and high profile partnerships that provides us with the unique position to make a lasting impact on those that we work with. Our young team helps us to approach charitable activities in fresh and innovative ways. We use trend analysis to engage hard to reach groups through creative projects. We understand what is on trend and what young people want to be associated with. These once in a lifetime opportunities not only build confidence and professional skills but the exposure they generate helps us to reach and inspire more young people to make a positive change. We provide industry experience, and exposure which other organisations do not have access to. In past projects we have worked in collaboration with brands such as DC shoes, Universal Music and Liberty to both fund projects and facilitate unique opportunities for young people.

Through our creative programmes ART AGAINST KNIVES provides those most at risk of gang culture with opportunities that help them to access education employment and training and in doing so make a permanent positive change. We believe that by putting opportunity in the hands of young people we can instigate change and strive for a different future. 

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