KnivesOut: Crafting a Safer Birmingham

Impact data and claims within this report are provided by the project creator and have not been independently verified by Spacehive.

 KnivesOut: Crafting a Safer Birmingham

KnivesOut: Crafting a Safer Birmingham

Swords into Ploughshares By Swords into Ploughshares

This multi-disciplinary project seeks new and innovative routes to tackling the issue of knife-crime in local envronments, using a unique programme of social intervention.

Birmingham Idea stage

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The project is a partnership between established community activists, a collaborative practice, brought together as “Knives Out” by Swords Into Ploughshares CIC working with experienced staff from Round Midnight Theatre, Street Doctors, TAS Mentoring and Birmingham City University’s School of Jewellery. At the core of the project is an innovative approach which uses participant-led craftivist practices to challenge thinking around ‘road life’, gang membership and, specifically, knife-crime. Working with schools in the Jewellery Quarter and Soho ward, the programme – based on a successful pilot held at Broadway Academy and refined through focus groups with young people from Birmingham and Wolverhampton – brings together drama, virtual-reality, craft-making, intensive mentoring, first-aid training and horizon-widening in a unique programme which encourages young people to think differently about their options.

What we'll deliver:

  • Workshops to two schools in the Birmingham LEP area
  • Two community-based exhibitions of the work produced in the schools workshops - one for each school
  • A raised awareness of the issues around knife-crime in the local community

Why it's a great idea:

The pilot project - run at a school in Aston - noticeably changed the lives of the participants, changing their behaviours and improving their engagement at school. Difficult conversations became easier to have, thanks to the presence of community mentors, and a visit to the School of Jewellery to make part of the work there opened their eyes to the city beyond Aston and the opportunities in the wider city. Based in solid educational principles, this project is not just talking about a problem: it is about giving young people the tools and opportunities to think deeply about their community and encourages them to make creative decisions and informed choices. The exhibitions which will be held in the schools at the end of each intervention become a focal point for celebration of community.

Steps to get it done:

  • Identify interested schools in the Soho and Jewellery Quarter Area
  • Agree with Round Midnight Theatre Company delivery of Virtual Reality element
  • Recruit Student artist mentors
  • Agree Street Doctors delivery
  • Work with Ezekial King to deliver social mentoring
  • Clear permissions at School of Jewellery for participant days in the workshops
  • Obtain and prepare materials
  • Deliver project (6 weeks)
  • Celebration/presentation event of final outcomes to community
  • Evaluation and feedback - dissemination of findings

Indicative programme: 1) Young people are invited by the schools to join the programme; 2) Introduction – drama/virtual reality shared experience delivered by Round Midnight; 3) Discussion/mentoring – young people are encouraged to share their experiences of knife crime and to record their experiences; consider how these experiences can be mediated; 4) Mentoring/First-aid – having considered the impacts of knife crime on their lives (or potential impacts), young people are given practical advice and guidance on emergency first-aid responses; 5) Mentoring/Making – working with the mentors, participants are given materials with which to make jewellery objects which illustrate their thoughts and feelings around the subject; 6) Horizon-Widening/Making – participants work at the School of Jewellery to complete their work and for an educational and making experience; 7) Celebration – participants and the community get together to view the exhibition.

Location Birmingham

About the space



Birmingham City Council

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How will the money be spent?Total £15,270

Round Midnight VR Experience for two schools - £2,880 (19%)
Management Fee - £2,500 (16%)
Ezekial King Mentoring for two schools - £2,000 (13%)
School of Jewellery Workshop Time - £1,800 (12%)
Student Artist/Mentors for two schools - £1,000 (7%)
Weekly session oversight - including recording of project - £900 (6%)
Preparation and Planning (3 days) - £600 (4%)
Admin and Social Media - £600 (4%)
Materials: specialist cutting of blades, metal prep at SoJ, consumables - £500 (3%)
Evaluation and report - £500 (3%)
Other - £1,990 (13%)

Costs Breakdown

This shows how money raised for the project will be spent. Before entering fundraising these costs will be confirmed by the project's Delivery Manager and verified by the verifier.

Round Midnight VR Experience for two schools
Management Fee
Ezekial King Mentoring for two schools
School of Jewellery Workshop Time
Student Artist/Mentors for two schools
Weekly session oversight - including recording of project
Preparation and Planning (3 days)
Admin and Social Media
Materials: specialist cutting of blades, metal prep at SoJ, consumables
Evaluation and report
Other Read More
  • Spacehive fees
  • Loan of tools and equipment from the School of Jewellery
  • Transaction fees
  • School of Jewellery Technician Support
  • Street Doctors
  • Materials - drawing
  • VAT
  • Travel


This project is enabled for overfunding. If the project hits its funding goal before the end of the campaign period, any extra funds raised will be spent (in order of priority) on:

  • Documenting the project in video and photography
  • Materials for further projects
  • Permanent equipment for the CIC to deliver the project in the future

Total £15,270

Our Volunteer List

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