Rsz wh oct 2017 2

CASE STUDY - Pat and Cat in Wester Hailes

7th November 2017
by Cat Macdougall

Hey guys, we are Pat and Cat, a couple of youth workers who work together on a Monday night. We deliver sessions on various subjects, play games and ALWAYS have fun with our youth club.

We are based in a very deprived area of Edinburgh, which was left devastated by two fatal stabbings and a further stabbing leaving a victim seriously injured. Pat and I were left feeling heartbroken and desperate to find a way in which we could help. We were alerted to a training course being offered by NKBL and we both felt like our prayers had been answered. At last, we will be able to help young people and hopefully prevent another crime involving a knife.

We had our training and instantly left feeling energised and confident of being in a position to deliver a meaningful session without feeling like a school teacher and telling the young people what to do and what not to do – how boring would that be? So, we got our heads together and, before we knew it, we had a session prepared using the aides from our training. By adding in a little creativity we were well on our way to delivering our session. We were so excited. One of the things we kept saying to each other through the preparation was, “this could really make a difference.”

Monday night arrived and all the young people came flocking in the door. One of them asked immediately, “what are we doing tonight?” Cat responded by saying, “we are going to look at a dead body.”

Needless to say our young people were intrigued and instantly we gained their full attention. The session was full of fun and whilst it was very educational, it was driven by the young people. 

“I liked hearing about all the myths and where I can go for help if my pals have a knife.” 

Another young person said, “informative and enjoyable, just fun.”

If anyone out there has the chance, I’d strongly recommend that you grasp the NKBL training opportunity with both hands. NKBL can give us the foundations, it is us to us as practitioners to drive this forward. The only way we can truly make a difference is by educating young people around the consequences of carrying a knife and, most importantly, nurture open dialogue around knife crime in a safe environment.

Let’s raise awareness, make our streets even safer and alleviate the fear. 

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