Fri 06 July 2018
One our residents features in a BBC Eastender's knife crime special talking about what she has been through since her 17-year-old son was killed.
Caroline Shearer, of Clacton, features in the episode shown at 9.15pm on July 6 2018. Her son Jay Whiston was killed in Colchester in 2012.
We applaud her bravery and hope her charity Only Cowards Carry, which Colne helped launch continues to make a difference.
Sara Thakkar, Colne's Chief Executive, said: “As part of working together to improve our communities, Colne played a very small but pivotal part in supporting Caroline to raise awareness of the devastation knife crime causes.
'Our Colne Community Builders Fund provided a £2,500 grant for Caroline to start a weapons awareness campaign in local schools called Only Cowards Carry. This has now developed into a national charity reaching more than 22,000 people and continues to grow. We are very proud of Caroline and how she is determined to see some good come out of such tragedy.”
Caroline said: “Without you and your financial support, it would not be possible to serve so many schools and educate students of both the physical and traumatic harm knife crime can cause. It is astonishing how many students do or have carried a weapon into a school for protection, teens to protect themselves from bullies and young adults who see carrying a weapon as a fashionable thing to do.
“Our training programs ensure all ages are made aware of all negative effects knife crime has to both themselves if they are caught and the victims who they effect most dearly as their loss also results in a loss for many including, family, friends, neighbours and everyone within the neighbourhood. It is time disarm future generations from any form of knife crime going forwards.”
Caroline's experience influenced the storyline involving the death of teenage character Shakil who was stabbed by a gang and how his on screen mum Carmel suffered following the tragedy - and fiund some solace by setting up a knife awareness campaign.