December 7, 2022. News

7 December – Day of Hope

Wednesday 7 December is the “Day of Hope”, established by the Hope Collective, a celebration of young people, their potential and a positive message to overcome violence in our communities.

The date marks the birthday of Damilola Tayler who was just 10 years old when he was stabbed and died alone following an attack in 2000. Shortly before he died, Damilola told his family: “I am going to change the world”.

Knife crime continues to claim the lives of young people across the country, but his young age and huge lost potential meant his death continues to hold a legacy today.

In response, the Hope Collective was born to create a more positive message for young people, celebrating all they are and can be in our society, championing greater support and challenging discrimination and the inequalities that many face today.

In 2021, the Hope Collective launched the first round of “Hope Hacks” – five events held across the UK which gave young people a voice.  The report “Changing the Conversation” was presented to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The Prime Minister challenged the Hope Collective to continue the conversation with young people, to do more and go further over 2022.

On Friday 4 March 2022, Thames Valley Violence Reduction Unit facilitated the first Hope Hack of the year, with 80 young people from across the region meeting at Reading Football Club to discuss the key question: “How can we make a safer and fairer society for all?”

The discussions on that day will feed directly into a new report for 2022 which again will be presented to the Prime Minister in coming weeks.

Stan Gilmour, Director of the Thames Valley Violence Reduction Unit, said:

“7 December is the Day of Hope, a day we celebrate the potential of young people and all that they bring to our society now and for the future.

“As a Violence Reduction Unit, we know the risk factors young people face – be it poverty and inequality, lack of opportunity, poor support, exploitation, substance misuse and crime. These are the root causes of violence.”

“If we work together to address these problems we can help young people to reach their full potential and lead healthy, safe and successful lives.

We were proud to host the very first Hope Hack of 2022 and look forward to all that those young people contributed that day being referenced in the report to government when it is completed in coming weeks.”