The fourth of March marks the first year anniversary of Take A Knife Save A Life.
The group of volunteers was formed by Stephen Gowers following the tragic death of Jodie Chesney last year in Amy’s Park in Harold Hill.
Stephen Gowers told Havering Daily: “Taksal was started after the murder of Jodie Chesney. It happened just near my house and her brutal murder devastated the whole community here.
“I set this up in her memory and to support the whole community in the hope something like this never happens again.”
Take A Knife Save A Life are a team of volunteers that do weekly patrols across Havering. The team do everything from community events to weapon sweeps across Collier Row, Hornchurch, Elm Park, Upminster and Harold Hill.
Taksal has gone from strength to strength starting out with a handful of volunteers on foot patrols to now having their very own minibus that carries vital life saving equipment such as a defibrillator.
The team carry out weekly patrols across different areas in the borough where they support the community by removing dangerous weapons off our streets.
Taksal co-ordinator Robert Dean told the Havering Daily: “Stephen Gowers founded Taksal a year ago. Throughout the year his vision has flourished and it has brought different communities together throughout the borough.
“As a group of volunteers from the local community Taksal has made a difference on our streets.
“Happy Birthday Taksal.”
Taksal volunteers are now first aid trained and some have mental health first aid training as well. Some of the team are also SIA trained.
Romford MP Andrew Rosindell told the Havering Daily: “I’d like to wish Taksal a happy birthday. They provide a wonderful service in our community and are a vital deterrent out on our streets to stop youths from carrying knives. Well done to the whole team, I’m very proud of them.”