Knife crime has become the scourge of many cities across the UK, and Liverpool is no different.
And in the constant battle to tackle the problem, community activists like Alan Walsh are rising to the challenge.
Boxing coach Alan is taking up a different fight in a bid to keep young teenagers off the streets and away from crime.
He is the founder of the Anfield Boxing Club and a successful campaign named ‘Real Men Don’t Carry Knives’.
The campaign has grown to become one of the most recognisable across the city, and now across the country.
It aims to reduce knife crime by working with victims and perpetrators, as well as young students.
It uses boxing as a means of keeping teenagers busy and productive, so they are protected from being groomed by gangs. It incorporates a healthy lifestyle as well as discipline.
‘Real Men Don’t Carry Knives’ is also an educational programme. Walsh and his team have worked with just under 100,000 students across schools.
They use group work across these schools to keep the students engaged, further going on to one-to-one classes.
These specific one-to-one classes include 11 teenagers who have stabbed other young people.
This specific group would therefore be placed on a Pathway Project, where parts of the project will include one-to-one boxing sessions with Walsh and knife crime victims, and with the other half allowing these 11 members to work with families who have lost their families to knife crime.
Unsung heroes like Alan and the volunteers who work with him are in essence, saving many teenage lives with the work which they are doing.
With other campaigners now working with Alan, campaigns are underway to bring his projects across the country on a national scale.
In Alan’s own words… “long may it continue”