Knife crime project scoops top award
Knife/Life, a three-month-old Sheffield-based project aimed at tackling knife crime across UK, has been crowned the first winner of The Moor Community Awards.
The project – co-founded by professional chef Karim Maoui and his friend Adrian Hamilton – is a charitable organisation that was set up to train people, especially youngsters, to use knives as tools, not weapons.
The project was also aimed at getting young people into the kitchen to give them new skills to go with a career, training and a long-term job in the catering industry.
Announcing the winner, Centre Manager for The Moor Sheffield, Amanda Phillips said: “The Moor is very proud to support this initiative.
“It’s great to see someone who is passionate about his craft, sharing it with others and in doing this educating them into using a knife as it as intended, which is in the kitchen.”
Mr Maoui said the win was unexpected, considering the project was only launched recently.
“I was very, very shocked especially because the project has only been going for three months.
“It’s very humbling that we have been recognised for what we are trying to do and help the community in Sheffield.”
Co-founder Adrian Hamilton agreed: “I am overwhelmed. I definitely didn’t expect to get all this support just from a small idea such as this.”
Mr Maoui said although the Knife/Life was relatively new, they have received tremendous support from the community and several projects in the pipeline.
One of the projects was to collaborate with South Yorkshire Police to make a music video on knife crime which highlights the consequences if the tools were used as weapons.
“The artists that are going to be on there are all Sheffield-based and have been in some way involved in knife crime and social behaviour.
“So it’s not just for the sake of doing it, but it actually means something to people taking part in it,” he said.
The Moor Community Award was recently launched for the second time after a successful debut last year to recognise unsung heroes throughout the city.
The campaign is in association with Aberdeen Standard Investment (ASI), which owns The Moor and the Community Champions receive £250 for their cause.
Mr Maoui said the cash prize would help them get the publicity they need for the project.
“It will go towards public relations material such as flyers to get the word out about knife crime.
“It’s only three-month-old but we have got an amazing response so far and £250 will help get the word out and hopefully generate more interest and help more people.”
Knife crime in South Yorkshire has almost doubled in the last nine years – one of the highest increases outside London.