The running of educational Roadshows at schools across South London has been a huge component of Lives Not Knives since its inception in 2007. These events typically involve two members of LNK staff teaching young people (from ages 11-18) and raising awareness about the short / long term dangers of knife and gang culture, with the aim of informing them so that they can then choose not to get involved. 

What do we teach?

The kind of information touched on at these Roadshows includes a number of things related to youth crime and the consequences of becoming involved in gang culture. For primary school children the focus is related to staying safe, learning what a real friend is, and explaining how children over the age of 10 are liable for their own actions. When we speak to secondary school children, for whom knife crime is usually more pertinent and relevant, we instead explain more complex topics including legal terminology, such as: what joint enterprise is, how sentencing laws work, the difference between murder and manslaughter, and the consequences that a criminal record can have on future employment and travel in relation to DBS checks. 


We deliver these Roadshows with the help of our mentors, who collectively have experienced a number of relevant life experiences including: having been ex-gang members, victims and perpetrators of crime, lost close friends to violent care, or have been brought up in care. They do this through a Powerpoint presentation which features a number of interactive activities, videos and real life case studies of knife crime taken either from the news, or directly from our youth workers anecdotally. This helps to make the information more engaging and relatable for the students, which we hope will allow them to take as much information as possible from these sessions. We also use these presentations as a way to work alongside teachers and identify the pupils at risk of gang affiliation so that we can offer further support by way of mentoring. 


We look to improve the running of our Roadshows at every opportunity, and consequently we put a lot of value on analysing the feedback of both teachers and students. For this reason we hand out feedback forms at the beginning of each session asking for the teacher's responses to what went well, as well as suggestions to make the presentation more effective and, where possible, we look to implement these changes for the next session. The responses from teachers and pupils has been overwhelmingly positive, and we are constantly looking to expand and deliver these workshops in more schools, colleges and Pupil Referral Units. 

If you are interested in having LNK deliver a Roadshow in your facility or would like more information or follow up lesson plans, please contact: 

“The LNK worker was very thorough, knowledgeable and professional” -Mrs Smith, Crescent Primary Teacher

“Great participation” -Mrs Maguire, Harris Academy South Norwood

“Topical information and an engaging session” - Miss Biggs, St Joseph’s