Young learners at our Harpurhey training centre took inspiration this week from Mothers Against Violence (MAV), a south Manchester based community organisation dedicated to raising awareness and bringing together communities against the use of guns and knife violence.

The groups’ founder, Patsy McKie, spoke passionately about the work of MAV, which she set up in 1999 as a direct result of fatal gun shootings in her community. Originally trained as a nurse, Patsy went on to become a social worker and is now is a strong advocate for Mothers Against Violence, which has regional links and other communities in Birmingham, London, Huddersfield and Leeds.

Speaking of her experience, Patsy said:  “I don’t want anyone else to go through what I went through.”

She added: “When I go into prisons to speak to people who have killed others, all of them have regretted it. The way you think determines the way you feel, which in turn can determine the way you act. You become what you think. It’s important to recognise everyone is special and unique. Violence doesn’t solve violence.”

MAV was invited to attend by the centre in order to engage and inspire our young learners. Commenting on the talk, key worker June said: "It’s powerful and inspirational. Those learners who attended were engaged, open to advice and asked lots of questions.  I’m hoping it will encourage our young people to keep on the right path.”

Callum, a young person who attended said: “It was really good and informative. It made me think from another point of view and gave me a different perspective. Patsy was very inspirational!”

Mothers Against Violence was established to try and make a difference to stop violence, and they set about doing this by agreeing that education and community support is the key.