‘Enough is enough’: Sheffield community group to march in solidarity against gang violence
A women's support group in Sheffield is calling all community leaders and members of the public to walk together in solidarity and make their voices heard in response to the recent spate of violence across the city.
Sharrow-based Mums United said the march, which will be held for the third year running on May 22 - should serve as a 'wake up call' to everyone that they can no longer sit in silence and that 'enough is enough.'
Founder and organiser, Sahira Irshad said: "As mothers we are tired of our voice not being heard - we want everyone to hear us when we say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
"We will no longer sit in silence whilst we see generations of young being lost in apathy and violence.
"We are standing against gang culture and anyone who sits in silence watching, you are just as complicit.
"They say it takes a village to raise a child - that proverb means it’s everyone’s responsibility to ensure the safety of our children."
The group's co-founder Dr Shahd Salha said the aim of the march is to wake everyone up and to call for greater unity within the communities.
She said they had their last march in January last year but things have deteriorated as guns are now being used.
"As mums, we are not powerless. We are strong and will continue to do the work we have been doing for the past few years. We are not going to stay silent," she said.
Mums United volunteer Jennifer Dunstable said Sheffield used to be "all well" where children could go out to play.
"But we are currently living in a culture in this city that if we can't see our children and teenagers.
"There's an increasing risk that they be targeted and groomed by criminal gangs to carry and traffic illegal substances and in some cases weapons such as knives but also firearms.
"We need a return of dedicated safe and supervised youth activities in crime hotspots but also across the whole city. Enough is enough, we're not staying silent anymore.
"These criminals will not have our children, they will not have our sons, and we will NOT forgive those who stay silent or profit from gang related activities," she said.
Sheffield has seen a number of serious incidents over recent days, including two murders - a shooting and a stabbing.
Mums United – a charity that tackles youth violence – immediately called for more proactive measures to tackle knife and gun violence in the city.
Last year, the group held a walk which aimed to bring the whole city together under one umbrella to fight youth violence, gang culture and county lines drug dealing.
Their first walk took place in May 2019 in response to a series of shootings, stabbings and anti-social behaviour in the area.
This time, the march will begin at 3pm, at Heeley Peoples Park View Road.
For more information about the event, please visit www.mums-united.com or go to their their social media pages on Mumsunitedsheffield (Facebook) or Mumsunitedshef (Twitter).