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Children buying knives in supermarkets what can be done and what can we do? Co- Founder David Simmons discusses with RT News.
Co-Director David Simmons discussing the issues surrounding children carrying knives. Talking about his own personal story of a 6 year old threatening him with a knife in a Primary School. #KnifeCrime #BreakingNews
Filming with ITV, we showed what we have been doing within a secondary school and in 5 months we have already seen results. #ITV #Sports #Education #StoppingExclusions #PositiveAttitude
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ITV Anglia News

The Essex teacher motivated to work with troubled children after he was threatened by a six-year-old with a knife.

A teacher from Essex who was threatened by a six-year-old pupil with a knife has turned his horrific experience into a positive.

The child told David Simmons he wanted to kill him - which was the point the teacher decided he needed to do something.

Now David's working in schools to prevent children being excluded and also running an after school group for vulnerable youngsters.

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Funding News

We have received £10,000 by the Police, Fire and Crime Commissoner to continue to help and support young people that are involved. More news to follow… News Article HERE!

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Funding News

We have received £8,650 to continue the intervention project that engages young people in sports and educates them on the dangers of gangs.

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Active Essex Finalists

Only starting the project in September 2018 we have already gained recognition from the town by nominating us as finalists in the ‘Changing Lives through Sports’ Category.

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Victoria Derbyshire - Knife Crime Special

David was contacted and asked to appear on the BAFTA winning news show. He spoke about the importance of early intervention and the impact Changing Lives in Harlow is having in the town.

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Jeremy Kyle Show on Talk Radio

David and Ben appeared on one of the largest radio shows in the UK speaking about the project and the story behind Changing Lives.

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BBC Look East

David’s story of a 6 year old threatening him with a knife in a school setting made regional news.

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BBC Look East

BBC came down to film at our project to show the benefits of what early intervention can do on the town.

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ITV Anglia

ITV Anglia filmed LIVE during our Changing Lives Project watching first hand what we do. You can see the filming below on our YouTube Page.

ITV Anglia filming LIVE at the Changing Lives Project.
Uploaded by yourharlowfilms on 2018-08-29.
Uploaded by yourharlowfilms on 2018-08-29.


Sport used as a weapon against Essex gangs

A PE teacher has set up a sports project in Essex to discourage children from joining gangs.

David Simmons began Changing Lives in Harlow to provide after-school activities and workshops for young people.

He started the project after being threatened with a knife by a six-year-old in London and after seeing a child being bullied in his local town.

He says gangs are recruiting increasingly younger people and he wants to do something about it.




A new project is starting in Harlow this month, to help stop vulnerable young people from joining gangs.

David Simmons has founded the 'Changing Lives in Harlow' programme.

"London gangs are getting on the trains now, coming from London, and coming into Essex," he told Heart.

"They're literally recruiting children by standing outside the gates of the schools, and looking and picking on the most vulnerable children.

"{They're] picking on the parents as well, if they haven't got enough they'll give them £50 to lure them in, or new clothing and things like that."

The Changing Lives project sees children being collected from school by mini bus and taken to workshops and activities such as rugby - to try and get them out of being recruited by gangs.

David says early prevention work is important to deter children from joining gangs.

"When I was in a school, I had a six year old pull out a knife on me.

"There's a real issue out there, and I think there's a prevention needed early on in primary schools.

"You've got the whole of the sex education system going on, and there needs to a similar workshop, education programme that we need to deliver {about gangs}."

The project is working alongside Essex Police, the NHS and Harlow Council and runs 2 days a week.