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''Every child deserves to be safe and celebrated'' say Cabinet Members, as they mark the Day of Hope

Leading Cabinet Members are remembering Damilola Taylor, on what would have been his 31st birthday, and are encouraging everyone to support the young people in their lives.

The Day of Hope was started by the Hope Collective, an organisation launched by the Damilola Taylor Trust. It marks the birthday of Damilola Taylor, a young boy who wanted to change the world. He died of a stab wound in November 2000, aged just 10 years old.

The Day is a celebration of young people, and aims to tackle violence and knife crime.

Labour Councillor Lauren Townsend, Cabinet Member for Public Realm, said: “As a child, Damilola had hopes and dreams, just as I did. I wanted to be a teacher, and my parents and teachers were incredibly supportive. They encouraged me to see more of the world, and to volunteer to get valuable life experience. I am lucky to have had this level of encouragement.”

“Every child deserves to be safe and celebrated, which is why we’re committed to fighting violence in Milton Keynes; the Council has dedicated £250,000 to tackling knife crime this year, and last year £100,000 helped fund a new knife crime prevention learning zone at Hazard Alley.”

Councillor Jane Carr, Liberal Democrat Cabinet Member for Tackling Inequalities, said: “The work of organisations like the Hope Collective, and our local partners such as Thames Valley Police and other SaferMK representatives, is essential in supporting our children and young people and keeping them safe. Violence and inequality shouldn’t stop them from achieving their dreams.”

Cabinet Member for Children and Families, Labour Councillor Zoe Nolan said: “The children and young people of Milton Keynes are our priority. They want to change the world, just like Damilola did, and just like I did as a young girl.”

“I would encourage everyone to support this Day of Hope, because our children need to be celebrated, and we need to work to create a world where they are protected.”

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