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This Week at St Mary’s

Stand up to Knife Crime

 Our neighbour Stone Soup Academy put on an event last week at the Metronome to raise awareness and change perceptions of knife crime. Many memorable elements, but it’s Zoe Cooke’s story which has left a big impression on me and Joanna (she is a trustee of SSA). 

On the morning of 4th July 2021, Byron, Zoe’s adult son phoned to arrange to have a meal together later. At 1.15pm Zoe received a phone call from one of Byron’s friends to say he had been stabbed in Ilkeston and was on his way to hospital. Zoe went straight to QMC, to discover they had no record of him. They contacted Derby, ‘He’ll only come to QMC if it’s serious’. Shortly after, her worst fears were confirmed when he arrived in an ambulance. She saw him rushed into A and E. The reassured her they were doing all they could, that he would need a massive blood transfusion. At this point, she knew he was dead. She had not been able to be with him, unable to hold even his hand. 

 Just over a year on, Zoe described how she thinks of Byron near constantly. She spoke straight from her heart, her voice strong almost all the time. Her first aim now, she said, is to do all she can to help at least one other family not to have to go through what hers has suffered. 

She has raised money to supply ‘Bleed Kits’ to be placed in ‘Bleed Control Cabinets’ in selected locations aiming to be close to victims of stabbing. Had one of these been close, Byron might have made it. Each costs £600 and has essentials in it and instructions. Donations can be made via the Daniel Baird Foundation Bleed Control Kits | By The Daniel Baird Foundation | Campaign by Lynne Baird – Control The Bleed | referencing Byron Griffin. 

See also Byron Griffin: Mum’s bleed kit appeal on anniversary of son’s death – BBC News 

Tom Gillum

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