'Knife crime is still on the rise': JJ McPhillips' mum fundraises for education
- Credit: Polly Hancock
The mother of a Canonbury dad who died from stab wounds is hoping her fundraising can help educate Islington youngsters against knife crime.
Michelle McPhillips is using her role as publican of The Green Man in Essex Road to campaign in memory of her son. Last week she presented a £750 cheque from donations from bingo to charity The Crib, which helps young people off the streets.
Jonathan ‘JJ’ McPhillips was 28 when he was fatally stabbed outside Islington Town Hall on February 25, 2017. It's believed he was struck while attempting to act as a peacemaker in a brawl. Michael Dyra was cleared of murder in 2019 but is serving time for violent disorder and carrying a weapon.
Michelle said: “This is a communal pub and the people of Islington are always helpful in supporting charities. [With The Crib] we go into schools and talk to the children to educate them about knife crime.
“This crime is still on the rise and I want to get kids into programmes to educate them so they are not being groomed [into the crime culture].
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“It [knife crime] does not offer a quick fix. That is not how life works, life is about working hard to achieve things.
“There is a myth that you have to have to carry a knife because everybody else does, but in reality very few people carry a knife – it is a mistruth spread by the media.”
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The Green Man has supported other charities in previous appeals and Michelle thanked those who came to the bingo.
Janette Collins, chief executive of The Crib project, said the money will help to buy hampers for 20 families whose young people participate in their programmes and help fund the Boroughs United anti-knife crime campaign.
“Knife crime is still on the rise. We have to work hard as a community to ensure that our young people do not feel the need to walk with a knife," she said.
“More money needs to be put into grass roots organisations in Islington that work tirelessly to engage young people into positive activities.
“There should be more outreach where young people are targeted in their area and encourage take up services in their area.”