Tuesday, 22 May 2007

I started the day early at Quarry Mount Primary School...

Margaret Moyles, the Acting Headteacher, and Katie Hamer, the Deputy Headteacher met me when I arrived. Katie had been at the Lou Tice Event last week and had asked me to come to school because they had organised a special event which she really wanted me to attend... she was very persuasive! I also met a great friend, Colette Kurylo, the Children's Centre Manager, who showed me her brilliant new facilities which include a 'birth to threes' unit, meeting rooms, family rooms and offices. Margaret, Katie and Colette are fantastic colleagues who passion, energy and commitment shines out like a beacon in this very diverse and challenging little bit of Leeds.

Therese McNeice, the North West Leeds Pupil Development Centre Manager had invited me to the school because they had organised a half-day Weapons Awareness course for parents. The rise in gun and knife crime nationally had made the team look for a positive and proactive way of addressing the issue with parents. This built on the Weapons Awareness course that the school has run for children over the last couple of years. PC Eric Cryer and Jamie Mensah, from the Youth Service, were running the programme with Pat Regan, a Leeds mother, whose son was shot dead in Liverpool in December 2002. Pat's other son was also shot and wounded in a Leeds nightclub. She believes that "it's time to take responsibility and do all we can to make people sit up and listen." Pat set up her own organisation, Mothers Against Violence because "We want to put a stop to the wave of gun crime and street violence."

Pat is an inspirational woman and it was great to see colleagues from a range of organisations working so well together to address such a complex and difficult issue.


Ben said...

Dear Chris

I was really impressed at the turnout for the Weapons Awareness Course at the North West Pupil Development Centre. It showed dedication and fantastic organisation on the behalf of Therese McNeice to create an environment for all the different agencies to join forces to make a difference to the local community.
With the PDC's increased responsibility in this area, I look forward to the next event with anticipation

Ben Wolfson

Chris'Blog said...

Thanks Ben, I agree that the PDC has a really important part to play in addressing these sorts of issues. They are a great team doing a wonderful job.