The Aim & Mission

Aims and strategy

Lives Not Knives (LNK) are dedicated to preventing youth violence in London and aim to do so through offering tailored mentorship and advice to the young people aged 9-21 in our community who most need our support. 

As a youth-led charity our staff are well informed about the underlying issues and difficulties that young people growing up in London may be suffering from. This knowledge is bolstered by the fact that all of our staff are trained in Youth Work, and many have also suffered the consequences of youth crime and violence themselves and are eager to deter others from making the same choices. The combination of these insights provides our staff with all the necessary skills to engage and build an effective professional relationship with young people, with this a position from which they can offer relevant advice and the experience needed to steer them onto the right path.  

We believe in our methods and have an extensive track record that demonstrates the positive results that can come by offering one-to-one support to 'at-risk' young people. The nature of this support can be multifaceted and can relate to any subject the mentee may need help or advice with. Although the list is endless, this could include concerns relating to family matters, relationships, careers and education, as well as issues relating to youth and knife crime. 

Providing support in this way has yielded significant benefits for the vast majority of the young people that we have worked with and has led to noticeable improvements in their engagement, feelings of self-worth, and motivation to realise their potential. 

The factors that lead to knife crime and youth violence are complex, deep-rooted and there is no single 'catch-all' solution. However we believe that by educating and supporting vulnerable young people in our community and helping them to realise their potential, we can help to prevent them from participating in crime and violence and consequently make the community safer for all.   

We currently offer education on knife crime or direct one-on-one support to over 10,000 young people a year, and are dedicated to expanding LNK's strategy so that, in the future, our methods can be incorporated into a national agenda to adequately address the current knife crime epidemic. 

Mission Statement: 

In line with our aims expressed above, we summarise our mission statement into three clear goals: 

  • Engage – To successfully engage as many young people as possible through: school Roadshows, workshops, referrals from schools & PRUs, and to further develop these relationships through the Youth Hub and Summer Programme. 

  • Educate – To use workshops, Roadshows, one-to-one mentoring and group mentoring to educate 9-18 year olds in schools and PRUs as the instruments to inform young people about the effects of knife crime in order to discourage them from engaging in anti-social activities, particularly serious youth violence.

  • Empower – To empower young people and the wider community towards a more positive future by delivering training, offering mentorship and relationships advice, preparing them for work, and supporting successful engagement in education, apprenticeships or employment.