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Donation made to Northamptonshire anti-knife crime campaign

We’ve made a donation to support a campaign which aims to encourage children to take up sport rather than becoming involved in crime.

Carry a Basketball, Not a Blade (CABNAB) is run by Basketball Northants and uses the sport and positive workshops as an activity to lead youngsters away from knife crime.

We’ve donated £1,000 to the campaign, with the money being used to deliver the sessions in more schools across the county.

A cheque presentation was made during a session at Huxlow Academy in Irthlingborough.

Lady talking to a group of people

Martin Spencer, Chairman of Basketball Northants, said: “We launched this campaign due to the increasing number of incidents of knife crime in the county and we want to provide children with the inspiration to lead a positive lifestyle by engaging with sporting activities.

“We hope that through our sessions they can develop the skills and knowledge to deal with antisocial and threatening situations.

“I’m thankful to Longhurst Group for this kind donation, which will allow us to take the campaign to schools in the Rushden area and make sure we have all the materials we need to be able to run the sessions.”

Craig Taylor, Director of Housing and Customer Service, praised the campaign.

He added: “This campaign is an excellent idea and a really good way of getting young people to engage with such an important message.

“Our vision is to improve the lives of our customers and the communities in which they live so we’re more than happy to be able to support the CABNAB campaign and I hope this money enables Martin and the team to continue the great work they’re doing.”

Man talking to a group of people

Andre Arissol, a professional basketball player with the MK Breakers, is the face of the campaign.

He said: “When I was younger, I unfortunately found myself trying to be persuaded to get in with the wrong crowds and encountering people who carried knives.

“I wanted to get involved with CABNAB to help guide today’s youngsters down the path of fulfilment and success and to use basketball to do that is even better.

“We seem to be making a difference and the youngsters seem to respond to my story amazingly. I’m determined to make CABNAB a success as far and wide as possible.”

Anna Letts, teacher and educationalist, leads the classroom-based element of the campaign.

She added: “Students are often surprised when we discuss the misconceptions around knife crime, including ideas around 'self-defence' and protection.

“It can be challenging to address these misconceptions and mindsets, but we’ve had some very positive feedback so far from teachers and pupils alike.”

A spokesperson for Huxlow Academy, said: “We heard about the campaign through contacts in the school and through working with Anna in the past.

“The idea of linking such an important issue with sport is a superb way to engage our young students and the more schools the campaign can target the better.

“Schools can sometimes forget that an important part of a student's development is understanding how their character and the development of their character will impact on their life, as well as their academic achievement.

“Making sure that balance of character education and personal development, as well as academic support, will enable our young people to thrive in a world that is ever-changing and working with organisations and campaigns such as CABNAB will only support this aim.”

Group of people holding a large cheque
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