A Yorkshire knife crime campaigner who has turned his life around after getting embroiled in violence when he was a teenager is heading to Downing Street to discuss how the Government can tackle the current knife crime epidemic.
Hull pastor Mo Timbo is part of the #NoMoreKnives team, a campaign which was launched back in the city in 2018 and works with Humberside Police and the RICH Foundation charity.
The campaign aims to educate children on the dangers of knife crime and challenge the perception that carrying a knife is normal.
Mr Timbo and the team, including RICH Foundation founder Kayleigh Pepper whose brother was stabbed to death in Hull in 2015, have already educated thousands of pupils in schools across the Humberside Police area.
Now, Mr Timbo a pastor at the Potters House Christian Fellowship Church, has been invited to speak to government representatives at 10 Downing Street to discuss current knife crime challenges and the role faith can play in shaping communities.
He said: "The Government has seen what we have been doing in schools and they have invited me to discuss this further.
"My intention is to get them to understand that it is important that this knowledge is rolled out nationally and just how important it is in the bigger areas such as London, Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham where knife crime is rampant.
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"I feel very encouraged and proud. Not only am I proud of the work we have done but I am proud that our government is now at the stage where they are willing to hear from people who are involved in this work on a daily basis. They are willing to seek advice from people on issues that they might not fully understand properly and that takes a lot of humility to do."
Mr Timbo was just 14 when he started dealing class A drugs in London.
Just two years later he was stabbed five times in an horrific attack and watched his friend get shot and killed.
At the age of 19, Mr Timbo was sent to prison for two years for dealing Class A drugs. He says it was only on his release that his life started to transform through faith.
He now uses his own experience to help others.
He said: "A lot of these ex criminals struggle with human relationships because they may have been violated or rejected from their families.
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"We always see the symptoms and understand there is a deeper human issue and a lot of it is human relationships. What faith does is focus on love and redemption. For a lot of ex convicts they have felt neglected and faith gives them love and hope and some redemption."
Mr Timbo believes the #NoMoreKnives campaign should be rolled out across the country because of how unique the project is.
He said: " #NoMoreKnives has been so successful for two reasons, because of the deliverer and the delivery. If you look at the group members,we have normal every day people that are presenting, but also people that have lived that life and experienced it.
"When we stand up you have an ex convict who has been stabbed and stabbed people and you have got another person who has lost a family member and this really connects to the audience.
"We also have the music and special engagement skills which make it so unique."
Mr Timbo will meet with Government representatives at Downing Street on Monday.