Family Overwhelmed by Knife Angel Response as it Leaves Sunderland After a Month

Family Overwhelmed by Knife Angel Response as it Leaves Sunderland After a Month

**Family Overwhelmed by Knife Angel Response as it Leaves Sunderland After a Month**

A poignant chapter in Sunderland’s fight against knife crime is drawing to a close as the Knife Angel, a towering sculpture made from 100,000 seized blades and knives, prepares to leave the city. The month-long stay of this powerful symbol has left an indelible mark on the community, particularly on the family of Connor Brown, an 18-year-old who was fatally stabbed in Sunderland in 2019.

Connor’s mother, Tanya Brown, who played a pivotal role in bringing the Knife Angel to Sunderland, expressed her deep emotions as the sculpture’s departure nears. “It’s going to be quite an emotional send-off,” she said. The farewell will be marked by a ceremony at City Hall, followed by a candlelight vigil at Keel Square, starting at 18:15 BST.

Connor Brown’s tragic death occurred when he tried to defuse an argument during a night out. He was stabbed five times, and two men were subsequently jailed for his killing. In the wake of this tragedy, Connor’s parents established the Connor Brown Trust, aiming to educate people about the dangers of knife crime.

Reflecting on the past month, Mrs. Brown shared that she and her family had been at the Knife Angel site six days a week, engaging with the community and conducting educational workshops at City Hall. “We feel honored and so overwhelmed by the response we’ve had,” she said. “It’s been an emotional journey, it’s been extremely tiring, but the impact it’s had has made it so worthwhile.”

The Knife Angel’s presence in Sunderland marked its first display in the city, following previous stops in Middlesbrough, Gateshead, and Redcar. Mrs. Brown noted that the public’s engagement with the sculpture had been deeply emotional, sparking important conversations about knife crime. “We can’t change what happened to Connor, but we do want to change the mindset of future young people,” she said. “It’s been quite an emotional rollercoaster, and I think the public have felt that as well.”

The Knife Angel, standing 27 feet tall, was created by artist Alfie Bradley at the British Ironwork Centre. It serves as a national monument against violence and aggression, aiming to raise awareness about the devastating impact of knife crime. The sculpture’s next destination is Southend-on-Sea, where it will continue its mission to educate and inspire communities across the UK.

The impact of the Knife Angel’s visit to Sunderland has been profound. The sculpture has not only served as a stark reminder of the consequences of knife crime but has also provided a platform for healing and education. The Connor Brown Trust, through its workshops and community engagement, has worked tirelessly to change attitudes and prevent future tragedies.

As the Knife Angel prepares to leave Sunderland, the community reflects on the powerful message it leaves behind. The sculpture’s presence has brought people together, fostering a sense of unity and shared purpose in the fight against knife crime. The candlelight vigil at Keel Square will be a moment of reflection and remembrance, honoring those who have lost their lives to knife violence and reaffirming the community’s commitment to change.

The Brown family, despite their personal tragedy, have shown remarkable resilience and dedication in their efforts to combat knife crime. Their work with the Connor Brown Trust and their involvement in bringing the Knife Angel to Sunderland have made a significant impact, touching the lives of many in the community.

As the Knife Angel moves on to its next location, the legacy of its visit to Sunderland will endure. The conversations it has sparked, the awareness it has raised, and the lives it has touched will continue to resonate long after the sculpture has left. The Brown family’s hope is that the Knife Angel’s message will inspire lasting change, helping to create a safer future for young people across the UK.

In the words of Tanya Brown, “We can’t change what happened to Connor, but we do want to change the mindset of future young people.” The Knife Angel’s visit to Sunderland has been a powerful step in that direction, and its impact will be felt for years to come.

Source: BBC News, North East and Cumbria

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