Knife Angel-Gateshead 2020
Carly Barrett & Alison Madgin
After the tragic Murder of Samantha (Alison’s Daughter & Carlys Sister) both Alison Madgin and Carly Barrett have fought for the prevention of knife crime within the region of Newcastle.
‘A FIFTEEN-YEAR-OLD girl who stabbed a young mother to death after she tried to break up a fight will serve at least 15 years in jail.
Samantha Madgin, 18, suffered ten knife wounds, including a fatal blow to her heart, at the hands of drink and drug-fuelled Jordan Jobson.
Samantha, who had given birth to her son ten weeks before, was on her first night out with friends since the birth when they became involved in a row in an alley in Wallsend, North Tyneside, on August 2, last year.’
"Samantha had a zest for life, loved her family and was always loyal to her friends. But the most love was for her son, Callum, born on May 25, 2007. Samantha and Callum spent 68 days together. ”Because of the evil that was on the streets that night, Samantha will never enjoy any of those special moments a mother is privileged to have."
Jobson denied murder, but was found guilty by a jury.
Judge David Hodson jailed her and said she must serve at least 15 years behind bars before should is able to apply for parole this was reduced to 11 years soon after
He said: "This case is yet another tragic example of the all-too-familiar pattern of young people taking excessive quantities of alcohol, of then mixing drink and dangerous drugs, and then resorting to the use of knives at will."
He said he was moved by the impact statement from Samantha's mother.
Preparing for the knife Angel to visit to Gateshead
Alison and carly first visited the Knife Angel in Hull. On seeing the 27ft sculpture it took their breath away.
For some the angel is looked at as a piece of amazing art but for a victim of knife crime it is an instant memory of their loved one and takes them back to them first early days of heartbreak.
The Knife Angel Journey started...
After returning to Newcastle we knew in our hearts we had to some how join many other cities in hosting the knife Angel in Newcastle. With a rise in knife crime we wanted to do all we could to prevent any family tragically loosing a loved one.
We started by speaking to Clive Knowles and seeking some information and advice. We soon began thinking of a poignant location for the sculpture to stand tall in our region. Contacting local councils were somewhat impossible to begin with. However, Gateshead council then became on board to help us on our mission to tackle knife crime within our region. Central Harm Reduction being our main support and immediately Kelly Hetherington formed our 'Knife Angel Team' and many more organisations who shared the same passion to reduce knife crime and violent crime in our region became on board to support.
Soon after our police and crime commissioner Kim McGuinness supported our project with the Violence reduction Unit. After much hard work from all involved our dates and location were soon confirmed. The knife angel was to be situated outside the Sage in Gateshead looking over our most famous bridges the Tyne Bridge and the millennium bridge. The knife angel was with us throughout Feb 2020 and made a huge impact upon our city.The first News of the Knife Angel arriving via Samantha’s Legacy Facebook engaged with thousands across the city.
Knife angel Civil Launch
Hundreds gathered at Gateshead sage to welcome the Knife angel in an act to help tackle knife crime in Newcastle and in memory of all the victims of knife crime. The Launch was emotional as we remembered all the loved ones taken too soonto knife crime/violent crime. Victims were invited individually to remember their loved ones, leave them a message and a red rose was given to all to lay at the angel in their memory.
Recorded Launch: Please View
A poem read at Civil Launch by Carly Barrett
What I want to say firstly is that although the words in the following poem relate to the loss of our beloved Samantha, we know that some of you are gathered here today in the shadow of the angel created out of 100,00 knives. Some of which that have been used in the killing of a loved one will also recognise their own grief and pain that they too live with every day.
Our lives changed forever the night you cruelly died
With no loved one to hold you nor dry the tears you cried
You are our last thought at night and our first thought in the morning
You are the salt dried on our faces from the tears still falling
You are the memories now locked safely within our hearts
You are the sadness, the grief that still tears our lives apart
You will always be beautiful never to grow old
You will always and forever be the one we long to hold
You didn’t deserve the cruel way you died
You had a long and happy life to live-you with your child
What happened that night almost 13 years ago
Affected many lives in a way most people don’t know
Parents were robbed of a daughter they loved
Your boy was robbed of his Mum
Our family was plunged into mourning
Friends were left feeling numb
But although we are now parted we will never say goodbye
You will always be here with us in every rainbow in the sky
And as a child born in April you are the diamond sparkling bright
The star that will shine forever each and every night
If only we could hold you in our arms again
It would help to ease our sadness and everlasting pain
And could once more tell you how much you are loved and missed
And you would hear our every heart beat longing for your kiss
Although the sun keeps shining and good days come along
The pain and sadness with in our hearts will forever linger on
But behind our smile are so many broken hearts
And behind each laugh and song pain and grief tears us apart
To have started with you the short life you lived
We are truly glad
To have lived our lives without you here
Will forever make us sad
There is an angel in your garden Lord
Her name is Samantha Jane
Keep her safe within thine arms O Lord
Our Loss is heavens Gain
Let her know ow much we miss her
And will forever more
Make sure she stands beside you
When we walk through your heavenly door
We can then begin to tell her
All the tales about her boy
That will make her eyes shine brighter
And dance around with joy
Samantha has now been joined by her beloved brother Lee
They will kiss and hug each other like the days that used to be
In ending this poem, I would just like to say
‘The gift of life is precious even when things go wrong
But if you live your life being generous and kind
the road you travel will be happy and long’
Inside the hard-hitting Knife Angel workshops which aim to help save a generation
Throughout the Month of hosting the Knife Angel in Gateshead Alison and Carly ran workshop sessions at HMS Calliope. Violence, knives and murder are not the average classroom subjects but these pupils over the month learned a lesson that could potentially save their lives or/and their friends lives.
Teenagers from local schools, youth groups etc would visit Samantha’s legacy workshops and hear some hard-hitting facts and reality of knife crime. Samantha’s legacy and the volunteers would then take the groups up to the Angel for an opportunity for them to ask any further questions and also to write a message of any kind and attach it to the railings. Many teenagers had lost loved ones, not always through knife crime or violent crime but they found comfort in writing a message because them too felt the emotion of the Angel and the reality of why Samantha’s Legacy fought so hard to host the angel in the city of Newcastle.
Youth Activities around the Knife Angel
#FightCrime #PreventCrime #Improvelives
Knives down Gloves up
A youth boxing gym that aims to reduce gang and knife related crimes within local communities. They encourage bonds between local communities and amateur boxing clubs in the hope to bring youths ‘off the streets’ in the hope of early intervention. This organisations visited the Angel twice a week with a group of youths and encouraged other visitors to join in the boxing classes that took part at the Angel.
Anti-Knife Crime Poster Competition
Schools, colleges, nurseries, youth groups etc across Newcastle entered a poster competition we received over 50 Anti-knife crime posters.
Masonic Lodge Donations
The masonic Lodge made a very kind donation to Samantha’s Legacy to help tackle knife crime and violent crime.
Saltmine theatre production
Saltine production highlighted the different scenarios in which youths can find themselves in. A very engaging production and professionally presented to a high standard. We created a FREE ticketed event to control numbers. With help from Kim McGuiness (PCC) and her team we were able to send interest to those across the region we found would benefit most from this the theatre production. The outcome to this production was phenomenal with great positive feedback. We had over 200 students arrive on the day of the production.
On the day we also received a very kind donation of doughnuts and other sweet desserts from GREGGS which went down a treat for all the children who attended.
Also present after the production were VR headsets also given different scenarios to the children in different circumstances. i.e. things that could go wrong within a nightlife setting.
After the production we encouraged the youths to then head up to the Angel where we engaged them in ‘Knives down gloves up’ activities and East coast kickBoxing.
Samantha’s Legacy also presented their presentation to all who attended that day and were present at the Angel to give any further info on the Knife Angel itself.
All were welcome to attend and hundreds gathered at the knife Angel departure at the Sage, Gateshead. A local priest part of HMS calliope was invited to bless the Angel on its next journey. Prayers were also said for all victims of knife crime and violent crime and all loved ones left behind.
All who attended reflected together of the impact the presence of the Angel had in our region and the awareness of knife crime this created across the full region in the hope to prevent knife crime.
To help reflect on all the inspirational and emotional moments over the month and to remember all our loved ones Samantha’s legacy invited a local choir to sing. This was a very poignant moment for all who attended. Choir 'Voice of the Town' performed
'Put a little love in your heart' & 'Amazing Grace'. A chance to remember all victims of Knife Crime/Violent crime whilst we all switch on our LED tea light candles (provided by Samantha’s Legacy)
Youth Engagement Evaluation
Over the month of February, the engagement the Angel brought to the region with youths was phenomenal. It sparked thousands talking about knife crime and for those attending the workshops it gave a real insight into the true effects of knife crime and overall, with intention raised great awareness of knife-crime across the region.
Over the full month Samantha’s Legacy with the help of Northumbria’s Police harm reduction team, Kim McGuiness and her Violence reduction Unit, Gateshead council and many others that made the hosting of the angel happen we were able to present our workshop to over 50 youth groups aged from 9-18. These groups were local schools, behavioral units, youth groups, colleges, universities etc. This totaled to over 1500 students we seen face to face. However, Samantha’s legacy social media pages received much coverage and it is to my belief many more youths were reached.
Our evaluation of the questionnaires we gave to students who attended our workshops are as follows and gave ourselves and other organisations a true insight in how youths respond to knife crime:
1. Do you think people carry weapons in your community?
Yes =74% NO=26%
2.Do you know people who carry weapons in your community?
Yes =36% NO=64%
3.Do you or have you ever carried a weapon in the community?
Yes =9% NO=91%
4.Do you think after today’s session you have a better understanding of the seriousness of the dangers of knife crime/violent crime?
Yes =88% NO=1% Not Answered=11%
Many Thanks to Clive Knowles and all involved at the British Iron Works for allowing us to host the Knife Angel in our region. We truly believe this has left a lasting impacting on our region.
And many thanks to all in our region who came together and who made all happen…