GRAHAM has helped to bring a powerful national anti-violence monument, The Knife Angel, to Teesside, donating the costs of transporting the Angel to Redcar as part of its ongoing South Bank Quay development project.
The Knife Angel, which is made from 100,000 confiscated knives, swords, and weapons, will be on display at Kirkleatham Museum, Redcar, until 1st September 2022.
It was unveiled during a launch event on August 2nd, with stakeholders, community leaders, and the Mayor of Redcar and Cleveland in attendance.
Created by artist Alfie Bradley and the British Ironwork Centre, the imposing contemporary sculpture tours towns and cities across the UK, helping to raise awareness about knife crime.
GRAHAM’s donation forms part of its social impact strategy in Teesside, where it is currently working on the development of South Bank Quay, which will help to establish industrial-zone Teesworks as the UK’s premier offshore wind hub.
GRAHAM has been working closely with The Chris Cave Foundation (CCF), an anti-knife and gun crime charity launched after the death of Redcar teenager Chris Cave in 2005.
CCF supports families, communities, and young people affected or influenced by violent crime.
The charity’s founder, Theresa Cave, helped to bring the Knife Angel to Middlesborough in 2019, and has been instrumental in organising its visit to Redcar.
“The Chris Cave Foundation is overwhelmed with all the help and support from GRAHAM in enabling us to host the Knife Angel here in Redcar in this month. I cannot thank you all enough – you have been amazing.”
GRAHAM’s Contracts Manager Thomas Craven hopes that the arrival of the 27-foot-tall angel will spark important conversations about community violence.
“At GRAHAM, we aim to have a positive impact in the communities we work in,” explained Thomas.
“Our social impact team has been engaging with the CCF, most recently by helping to fill lifesaving ‘stab packs’ at Stockton Riverside College alongside students and members of the charity.
“We’re excited about the arrival of The Knife Angel, it is a powerful representation of the impact of knife crime, which is already proving to be a catalyst for meaningful conversations.”
The CCF is set to make use of space around Kirkleatham Museum throughout August, hosting a range of community activities.
A closing vigil on 27th August will give those affected by knife crime the chance to pay their respects, before The Knife Angel is transported to its next location, Maidstone.
With work to develop Teesworks industrial zone now underway, the angel is also a harbinger of change for Teesside.
GRAHAM’s £107 million South Bank Quay will be used to load and ship monopiles from a new SeAH Wind Ltd manufacturing facility, which is currently under construction.
This manufacturing facility, supported by the quay, will create 750 jobs once operational. Up to 1500 additional supply chain jobs will be available during the construction phase.
“It’s clear that this development is already having a positive and far-reaching impact in the region,” added Thomas. “Donations to the transportation cost the Knife Angel’s visit to Redcar is another way for us to support the community and ties in with our broader mission to deliver lasting impact.”
Councillor Louise Westbury, Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Environment and Culture, said: “This is more than a powerful work of art as this anti-violence message deserves to be heard across the whole country. The sculpture is moving in itself - but is also a call to action about reducing and eliminating knife crime and I’d like to pay tribute to everyone involved in creating and displaying the Knife Angel including The Chris Cave Foundation, Graham and Theresa Cave who has been made her voice heard so effectively on this issue since the awful tragedy she and her family endured.”