Cycling to save young lives
285 men, women, and children were killed as a result of knife-related crime in 2018. Countless more were injured, and even more young people were indirectly affected as the friends or family of victims.
Youth violence is a massive problem where I live. Most of the time it directly involves men in my age group. Moving from the country to North London means that this became an issue I was suddenly acutely aware of. Through StreetDoctors I can do something about this issue within my own community.
Teaching, and more recently taking on leadership roles in StreetDoctors, means that I get to empower young people, who are often disproportionately at risk of violence, to keep themselves and others safe by teaching them lifesaving first aid. StreetDoctors teaching gives me an opportunity to give back to such a deserving community, and even more than that, the teaching we provide can mean the difference between life and death.
Young people that we’ve taught have been able to provide lifesaving first aid with the skills that they’ve learned.
While these outcomes are fantastic and the teaching experience itself is incredibly rewarding, the knife crime epidemic is a growing problem. I really believe that treating this issue as public health issue, in the way that we do at StreetDoctors, is the way forward, and as such I want to raise as much money as possible to facilitate such vital work.
This August, I’m cycling the length of the country from Land’s End to John O’Groats (1029 miles) with some friends to raise money for StreetDoctors. Last weekend most of the team rode 80 hilly miles in the Cotswold Sportive, which is the rough daily mileage we will be attempting. After that effort I can say this two-week challenge is comfortably the most physically demanding thing I have ever attempted, and although training is going well, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t apprehensive at the prospect of 14 tough days in the saddle!
I’m very privileged to have been isolated from the knife crime and youth violence problems growing up, but I’m aware that this privilege doesn’t often extend to the young people we teach in StreetDoctors sessions. This means I want to do everything I can to reach more and more young people year on year and spread our knowledge.
I know that anything I raise will be directly funnelled into teaching more young people, and more funding means we can reach further into areas of London and the rest of the country that really need it. This means that I would be beyond thankful for any donations to this super worthy cause (Click here to go to JustGiving ).
Thank you for reading!
Dalton Barham (StreetDoctors Volunteer and North London Team Leader)