Preventing Knife Crime With The S.H.A.R.P Project

Last week young people from our 12-Rounds programme experienced an interactive anti-knife crime workshop. 12-Rounds uses boxercise and boxing to educate children and young people in primary and secondary education about knife crime.

Over the last year, our team have been working together with Imperial College London to develop the S.H.A.R.P project. The S.H.A.R.P project (Simulation-based Holistic Approach for Reducing & Preventing Knife violence) is delivered by trauma surgeons and medical illustrators to educate young people on the lasting consequences of carrying and using a knife.

Sofia is the Project Leader of the S.H.A.R.P Project and an experienced Trauma Surgeon currently working in London hospitals.

She shared: “There are three interactive activities in the workshop… each of them refer to the same medical case study of a boy named Adam who survived a knife attack in London in 2017.”

After surviving the attack and spending over 18-months recovering in hospital, Adam agreed to share his story with the S.H.A.R.P project to help other young people such as those on our programme, to avoid knife crime.

The workshop began with the young people watching a Virtual Reality film experience that portrays Adam’s knife attack, his experience when the paramedics arrived, his surgery and his experience waking up in hospital a day later.

Although the VR film accurately depicted Adam’s experience, when the video was created programme designers decided not to use human actors in to avoid it being too hyper-realistic.

Roger is an ex-trauma surgeon also, and has been a driving force behind the design of the programme.

He shared: “We chose to use graphics in the VR experience so that young people could learn from Adam’s experience rather than watch a Hollywood blockbuster about it.”

After watching the VR film, young people discussed what they had seen as a group before ending the workshop with an art session.

Merlin is an experienced  Medical Illustrator and the Leading Project Illustrator on this project. To begin the session, Merlin taught the young people about different painting techniques using simple black watercolour paints and white paper.

She shared: “Teaching painting techniques allows the young people to contemplate how they can paint emotion and meaning rather question if they’re a good artist or not.”

As the young people painted it allowed them feel more confident in discussing their emotions around Adam’s experience and in expressing their emotions through their art work.

One young person shared: “My painting is made of broken pieces, because knife crime destroys families, friends and siblings when someone important to them gets stabbed.”

The art session produced phenomenal results with young people creating art works that boldly reflected their emotions.

Another young person shared: “I’ve deliberately painted the face of the person who stabbed Adam this way to reflect how he wasn’t thinking about how his actions would affect Adam.”

Ross is our charity’s Community Programmes Manager and has been working closely with the S.H.A.R.P project on its development.

Ross shared: “Following the success of this workshop we have organised the S.H.A.R.P project to visit other young people from our 12 Rounds programme and across our charity.”

We look forward to working closely with the S.H.A.R.P project and its fantastic team in the future.

For more information on the 12 Rounds programme and S.H.A.R.P simulation please contact Ross Defoe.

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