Search

Campaigner Danny O’Brien recognised for work to tackle knife crime

PUBLISHED: 15:01 19 July 2015

Baroness Wilcox, left, Danny O'Brien, and Alison Eddy, right, at the British Citizen Awards

Baroness Wilcox, left, Danny O'Brien, and Alison Eddy, right, at the British Citizen Awards

Archant

A man who has campaigned tirelessly against knife crime for the past seven years has been recognised with a national honour.

Danny O’Brien, of Cameron Road, Seven Kings, has been given a British Citizen Award for his services to the community.

The British Citizen Awards (BCAs) were launched in January this year to honour the accomplishments of people who have a positive impact on their communities and whose achievements may otherwise be overlooked.

Danny created the not-for-profit organisation Anti-Knife UK in 2008 in the wake of high-profile attacks across the country involving young people.

The fatal stabbing of Holloway student Ben Kinsella was the final catalyst which made Danny want to try and do something about it.

He was determined to make an impact on the problem of knife crime by trying to persuade youngsters to put down their weapons.

Danny said: “I was humbled and very surprised to receive the nomination.

“It’s great to get the award, as it will help me to push the anti-knife crime message out further.

“I got sick of picking up the newspaper and reading about another youth being killed or hurt, and I realised it was much worse as it was happening to other people across the country, with hardly any media mention outside of their local area.

“It just reached a point where I felt enough was enough.

“For me, this award is dedicated to all those lost to knife crime across the UK, and to the loved ones left to pick up the pieces, and also to all members of Anti-knife UK, especially Kathleen Rohan and Alfie Clegg.”

During the campaign, Danny has started the Thumbs Down to Knife Crime social media campaign, encouraging celebrities and people from all walks of life to post pictures of themselves making a ‘thumbs down’ sign.

He organised a special memorial service for families affected by knife crime and fatal stabbings, and carries out visits to prisons, schools, hospitals, fairs and churches to promote the anti-knife crime message.

Danny’s own nephew was stabbed in the neck in a pub fight in 2010, surviving the attack thanks to the efforts of the London Air Ambulance.

He later spent a period of time in jail after being caught carrying a knife himself – an act Danny says his nephew now severely regrets.

Danny carries out his campaigning work despite his own painful ill-health problems which include pot-thrombotic syndrome and depression.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ilford Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Ilford Recorder