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Honouring crime-fighting local heroes

I was honoured to be standing alongside a brave Newcastle mum who has received a top recognition for her work teaching kids about knife crime.

Alison Madgin of charity, Samantha’s Legacy, has been recognised for using her own heartache from tragically losing a child to drive her campaign to prevent other families from experiencing similar suffering.

Alison who, along with her other daughter Carly, has dedicated her life to supporting and educating others also famously brought the impactful knife angel statue to Gateshead quayside in 2020 as part of her work with my Violence Reduction Unit.

The awards, held in Manchester, are a celebration of talent, role models and inspiring women from the North and Alison wasn’t the only North East success story from the night. She was joined by a long list of fellow angels of the north – all of whom work passionately to improve lives and support some of the most vulnerable people of the region.

One such woman was Collette Devlin- Smith who received a commendation for all her work as part of EDGE North East. In the last few years, Collette has sprung up as an instrumental figure driving a new approach to how the region prevents young people from being exploited and coerced into the evils of County Lines.

Also short-listed for another top award was Streetwise’s Mandy Coppin – an inspirational woman who has stood up to youth service cuts and worked tirelessly to put the young people of our region first ensuring services and support are there for those in need.

I couldn’t be happier for Alison and all the women who work so hard to keep young people safe. They all deserv teaching kids about knife crime. ust not let the work these people do go unnoticed. This work really matters. And I’m proud that the ca to Manchester and really put the North East on the map.

Between them, the number of lives they’ve all changed, supported and even saved, doesn’t bare thinking about. I feel lucky not only knowing these inspirational women but to have them cracking on in our region, shifting the dial and changing lives. To all of them, I can’t give enough thanks and I know there are a lot of people out there who feel the same.

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