Alison Cope was, and always will be, the proud mum of Joshua Ribera. In 2013, Josh's musical career as grime artist Depzman had just taken off, with a number one album, and tours of the UK and Europe. In September that year he was murdered in a knife attack outside a night club in Birmingham. He was only 18 years old.
Alison now works alongside West Midlands police, and independently, to talk to young people in schools, community organisations and youth offending institutions about the dangers of carrying knives. Her strength in turning the most tragic event any parent can imagine into positive change for other young people is an inspiration to us all.
Alison was kind enough to come across to Wolverhampton yesterday for a recorded conversation about her life with Josh, her work with young people, and her thoughts about how we can support young people to rethink an attitude and culture around carrying knives that has led to a 14% increase in knife crimes between 2015 and 2016.
Please listen to the conversation using the player at the top of the page and share it with anyone you think would benefit from hearing Alison's thoughts and opinions. Comment below if you'd like to reflect or feedback with your thoughts.
Alison is a workshop lead at our HeadStart Conference on October 3rd. Find our more and register for free tickets at www.headstartonline.co.uk/conference17 - tickets are going quickly, so don't delay!
- Follow Alison on Twitter at @ali_cope
- An article about Josh and Alison from the BBC - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40497070
- ' The wonderful legacy of my son Depzman' - an article about from The Guardian - https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/aug/12/he-said-i-love-you-the-next-time-i-saw-him-he-was-dead-the-wonderful-legacy-of-my-son-depzman
- 'Beyond the Blade: the truth about knife crime in Britain' (The Guardian) - https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/mar/28/beyond-the-blade-the-truth-about-knife-in-britain