Bury the Knives, Not Lives
Hi there, my name is Andy Tiplady, and my son Joshua and I aim to climb the highest free standing mountain: Kilimanjaro in 2020, to get knives off the street and kids into sporting activities.
In 2018 Sheffield lost 8 people to knife crime, and my former student Kavan Brissett was tragically one of them.
By raising £30,000 through our Kilimanjaro climb, we will invest into Sheffield's youth, and help to take knives off the street, while honouring the memory of Kavan.
There, at 19,341 feet, we will drive a Sheffield Steel Peg into the ground of 'Uhuru Peak', made of melted-down Sheffield knives handed in to a 'Knife Bin', which will be donated by Tony from 'Keep Sheffield Stainless'. Thanks for that Tony.
It's time to TAKE KNIVES OFF THE STREET, and to BURY THE KNIVES, NOT LIVES.
We're also doing this, to raise needed funds to get into schools, set up youth activities, and give the kids of today a HOPE, a GOAL, a PURPOSE and a FUTURE. And everyone can get involved.
It's really simple. Donate, and share.
We will use the money raised to:
- Support Existing Youth Awareness Schemes, such as Keep Sheffield Stainless who are already doing an amazing job, but have no funding.
- Invest into Youth Workers
- Create more Safe Spaces for Young People AND TAKE THEM OFF THE STREETS AND OUT OF GANGS.
- Engage with Schools and Colleges to reach Young People
- Link up with Existing Organisations to Cohesively Make a Difference
- Work with brilliant people like Ryan Rhodes and Steve Bailey of26RR Fitness Ltd , to provide training to promising individuals, providing subsidies where necessary.
- Organise and Facilitate Activities to Get Kids Off The Street and Into Sports and Recreational activities, whether individually or as part of a team, instead of being caught in a gang and all that it brings.
- Recruit and work with other volunteering services across Sheffield, for the greater cause of giving the kids of today a purpose and a future.
The Background Story:
I am a former teacher of Physical Education, and I oversaw the running and teaching of The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, but last year my heart broke. A former student of mine, who I taught from Year 7 to Year 11, (age 11-16) was stabbed to death in an alley in Upperthorpe, Sheffield. Kavan Brissett was one of 8 people who died through knife crime in Sheffield during 2018.
(Kavan aged 16, with me at school)
But he was no statistic to me, not to my family, my work colleagues, or his friends and family.
(School leaver's prom at Sheffield City Hall in 2013)
We had up to 500+ friends who packed out his funeral as he was a much loved guy. There was not a dry eye in the church. Kavan was kind, considerate, funny and at 21 yrs of age, had only just begun his journey into professional boxing. He was a bright light, snuffed out too young, leaving in his wake a sore trail of grieving family and friends.
(Leaver's Prom 2013) This photo brings me to tears every time.
I conducted the funeral at Bushfire in Sheffield, and promised that we would leave Kavan a legacy. I thought it would be 'Drop the knives, put on the gloves' or such like. But let's face it, not every one wants to pursue boxing in the way that Kavan could. Some will, but some kids can kick a ball, run a marathon, or just walk the Peaks for example. The main thing is to have a goal, know your purpose, get into sport, do something wholesome, and enjoy all that it involves. Feeling part of something and BELONGING is so important for today's youth, and the camaraderie that comes alongside sports can benefit everyone.
You see, for me, playing Rugby was a way out of trouble. It effectively 'saved me', and gave me a sense of belonging with my team mates, where fair play ruled, and disagreements never ever involved knives. At that time of my life, sport was my life-saver. And I know it can save many other young people from pointless acts of violence.
My son Joshua will be 11 yrs old in July 2019. He met Kavan and has only good memories of him. It was Joshua's idea to climb Kilimanjaro, and his focus and hard work in preparing, is giving me a metaphorical 'kick up the backside'. He wants to show young people, that if you have vision and a dream, you can make it happen with a little help. This is just one of his goals. The training has started.
Training has Started
Fitness, endurance and mental strength is needed to climb Kilimanjaro. Altitude sickness affects every one, but some suffer more severely than others. It's dangerous, and not to be taken lightly. That's something we just have to hope and pray that we will cope with!
As part of our training, we're aiming to climb the height of Everest within 12 months, and we've already reached over 8,300 feet this month, so just another 20,729 more to go!
My son is an inspiration to me as he had both legs operated on in 2016, as he had his muscles and Achilles tendon shorten and tighten so much, that the surgeon had to cut and stretch his tendons, then put him into casts and splints for 3 months.
(March 2016, Joshua had both legs operated on to lengthen his tendons. Thank you Sheffield Children's Hospital we are so grateful for what you do!)
So while speed can be a problem, endurance and perseverance is something he has grasped. He has a goal and a vision, and as his Dad, I have to keep up!
We are really grateful for any donation you can give, it will help to pay to get us up there, but much more fund good work for the sake of our Youth here in Sheffield. Every life changed effects a family, a school, a community, a city...and every one is worth it.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, we are so very grateful for your time, and no donation is too small to help.