Preston North End Community and Education Trust has joined forces with Byron Highton of the JJ Effect to educate young people about the dangers of knife crime.
Byron grew up in Deepdale and founded the JJ Effect as a result of the tragic consequences of knife crime that he has experienced in his own life.
By delivering a hard-hitting knife crime workshop, Byron’s aim is to increase awareness about the dangers of knife crime among young people and prevent them from becoming involved themselves.
The workshop has been delivered with great success on the Trust’s National Citizen Service programme, on which Preston’s Centre of Sporting Excellence students are enrolled and accessing a range of educational and eye-opening talks and workshops.
Byron said: “Deepdale is my home, I’ve lived two streets away from the stadium my entire life. Moor Park, next to Preston North End, I spent the majority of my childhood there. The sad reality is that my brother died here as well.
“It’s important at grassroots levels that show people that there is more to life than street credibility or what you perceive to be your life on social media. Having the honour to work now with Preston North End and NCS is amazing.”
PNECET NCS Co-ordinator Jess Riley added: “I think it’s really important, particularly for our students on NCS. It gives them a greater awareness and widens their experiences themselves to what’s really out there in reality.
“Knife crime is one of the most dominant crimes, especially with people that are within college ages and student ages. It’s good for us as Preston North End to be using the power of the club to get these guys in delivering the workshops for students on NCS.”
Student Jenna Salthouse revealed that she didn’t think the issue was as problematic in Preston as Byron’s talk ultimately proved.
“It makes it much more relevant because you know he’s experienced it, there are no lies, it’s all real,” she said.
“To have it from someone who has lived around here, it’s quite scary really. It’s made me much more aware of who I hang around with, what I see and what to do. It’s been very eye-opening and a good experience.”