Oswestry firm's 'save a life' campaign launches first bin
The first collection point for a campaign to get knives off the streets and turn them into a huge piece of sculpture is set to be unveiled in three weeks' time.
Clive Knowles, chairman of the British Ironwork Centre near Oswestry, created the "Save a Life, Surrender Your Knife" initiative which will see the centre's team embark upon a tour of UK cities to persuade young people to relinquish their weapons in exchange for a hoodie or t-shirt bearing the campaign logo.
The campaign's first knife bank will be unveiled at The Hub, Perry Barr, Birmingham on August 22 by Birmingham community leaders, police forces and the "Save a Life, Surrender Your Knife" party alongside a number of families who have been tragically affected by knife crime.
The knife bank in Birmingham will be the first of a number specifically designed by the centre for each destination on its tour of UK cities and will be personalised to the city of Birmingham.
Surrendered knives will be incorporated into a spectacular, 18ft to 24ft high angel sculpture which will serve as a tribute to those who have lost their lives to knife crime.
Mr Knowles said: "The event represents the culmination of a great deal of time, effort and commitment of the working party. This is just the first step in what we hope will be a successful project to make our communities safer places for everyone.
"We will be going to the inner cities of London, Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester and speaking to the streets gangs, the youths, and asking them to hand over their weapons to us so we can use them for something positive. In return we will give them specially made T-shirts and hoodie tops and we hope they will wear them and become ambassadors for the Save a Life, Surrender Your Knife campaign.
"We will be asking them to hand over the knives, their flick knives, their knuckle dusters, any weapon they use and get involved in the campaign.
"It is clear we all have to do more about getting these weapons off the streets. The police have knife amnesties and we want to see these young people giving up their knives."
"We really do want to make a big difference to society and gets these knives of the streets.
"The weapons will be used in the construction of the Angel Gabriel statue which will be between 18 to 24 feet high."