Sheffield youth worker installs first of five new weapon surrender bins in the city
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Having turned his life around, security business manager Anthony Olaseinde, 33, wants to help the next generation of young people who may be at risk of taking the wrong path.
The Hillsborough-based dad-of-two runs Always an Alternative, a not-for-profit mentoring programme which aims to reduce serious violence among young people, and has already installed a knife surrender bin in Pitsmoor.
Anthony said: “I just want young people to believe in themselves and not put such a low value on their life.
"I’m trying to be the person I needed when I was younger. I want people to get the best out of themselves.”
The newest bin is located on Halifax Road, Grenoside and was paid for by Andy and Heidi Tiplady from Bushfire ministries.
Anthony added: “They got involved in the knife crime campaign quite early on because Andy used to teach a kid who was murdered, he was stabbed to death.
"I don’t see it as a bin, I see it as an option that’s not currently there. Release that burden and feel free.”
Knife crime rose by more than half in South Yorkshire between 2015 and 2019. The most common age of suspects identified was 18.
The remaining four bins will soon be installed at at-yet-undecided locations across Sheffield, Anthony said.
Chief superintendent Una Jennings from South Yorkshire Police has given his work the green light, which has seen “in excess of 100 knives” taken of the city’s streets and counting.
Anthony said: “Sometimes people need hope. That’s why I do it, because sometimes you need that person in your corner when you feel no one is there.”
Once installed, Anthony plans to create an online map of the disposal bins so people can easily find them.
He is also facilitating a pen pal project for young people feeling isolated because of lockdown.
Anthony said: “I’m noticing a change in behaviour, a lot of parents are talking about their children struggling with being locked in and not being able to socialise.
"It’s just trying to take them away from how rubbish it is at the minute.”
For further information on the pen pal project email [email protected].