Retired Ilford teacher tackles knife crime in first book

Author Yvonne Phillip with book In My Father's Eyes

Yvonne Phillip, a retired primary school teacher, has published her first book which addresses violence and gang culture. - Credit: Yvonne Phillip

A retired primary school teacher addresses knife crime and gang culture in her first book.

Since retiring in 2018, Yvonne Phillip wanted to do something to address knife and gun crimes and the impact it has on the families involved.

She has published her first book, In My Father's Eyes: Don't Let Our Mothers Bury Us, a psychological thriller set in the East End which highlights a community which has been torn apart by violence and gang intimidation.

In the story, the community comes together to tackle gang culture and violence through preventative measures. 

Book In My Father's Eyes

Yvonne is hoping the book is read in schools by young people to show them an alternative to getting caught up in gang culture. - Credit: Yvonne Phillip

Yvonne, who was also a nurse and midwife, is hoping the book is read in schools so young people might be put off from getting caught up in gang life.

She moved to Newham when she was 14 years old and has lived in Ilford for the last 33 years.

In that time she said she has been disheartened to see how much crime has increased.

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"It seems young people do not have the same opportunities I had when I was growing up and they are facing so many challenges now.

"The government needs to address the problems created by inequalities and the disparities in education, health and social care.

"At the moment a lot of young people are lost in the education system and we have to figure out a way to engage them."

She is hoping her book will do just that and has written it in a language she thinks young people can relate to and understand.

"The reason I wrote the book is to address the concerns I had and I am hoping young people who read it have a greater insight and see that there's a better way.

"The most important thing we need to address is that prevention is better than curing the problem.

"When there is violence it's not only the families involved that grieve but the entire community grieves together."

Yvonne is already working on a sequel to the book which is available at Amazon, Foyles and Waterstones and is published by Marcia M Publishing. 

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