Billy’s Wish has some exciting news to share! We have a new patron and a new Trustee.
We are both pleased and proud that Devon Masson has officially joined Billy’s Wish as a Trustee.
Devon is Billy’s cousin and is studying Law at university. From the time of Billy’s death Devon has always shown maturity beyond her years and great strength of character in speaking publicly about Billy; in school assemblies, and in our education film where hundreds of children have watched her emotional message of how knife crime has affected her and her family. She will now strengthen our team with her knowledge of the law as well as the perspective of her generation. Thank you Devon, we are looking forward to working with you!
It is hard to explain how delighted we are that Martin Griffiths has agreed to become a Patron of Billy’s Wish.
Martin Griffiths is the lead trauma surgeon at the Royal London Hospital – one of the busiest trauma units in the UK. He saves stabbing and shooting victims every day on the A and E frontline; he saved the life of the first stabbing victim in the London Bridge terror attack, and is passionate about knife crime education, intervention and rehabilitation. We are privileged to have him on board.
Martin was awarded ‘Hero Doctor’ at the NHS Hero awards 2018. Read more about him here: Martin Griffiths: NHS Hero
So much of his philosophy matches the key messages Billy’s Wish shares in schools, including this: “I look after the community I live in because that’s what people should do.”
Martin gave an unforgettable assembly at Kings Langley School. He told us, “few events have been as affecting for me as the event at King’s Langley… which changed my view on how we should support the victims of trauma forever. I’d be delighted to become a patron of Billy’s Wish. The honour is mine…it’s my privilege to be part of your journey.”
Thank you so much, Martin!
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WOW – the 6th annual Billy’s Wish golf event and Paul Devine Spirit Award in Dallas will take place on September 29, 2018. This event is organised each year by John Eggleton, the Charity’s Patron & good family friend.
Last year $7,059.00 was raised, a record amount!… Not only is this event the biggest fund raiser for Billy’s Wish, but over the last 5 years has raised a staggering $23,990.00 (16,844.00 GBP).
These generous donations have helped us continually improve our Education Program, to ensure it is current & effective. Also, most importantly, to reach as many young people as possible to help keep them safe by teaching them the dangers of knife crime and carrying a knife.
Last year, 72 golfers, 18 hole sponsors & several volunteers took part, ex patriots from ENGLAND, IRELAND & AUSTRALIA, along with their big-hearted AMERICAN friends.
The proud winner of the first Paul Devine “Spirit” award was Ronnie O’Brien for his selfless contribution, by giving up his time and showing determination and enthusiasm to help make the event extra special for everyone to enjoy for the past five years.
The winning team for the second year running was Trey Bayne’s foursome and they received the first Paul Devine winners trophy.
Some of our past events:
Spring and Summer update 2018
In March we did our first sessions with Crucial Crew – a safety scheme for year 6 children, to prepare them for the transition to secondary school. Scenarios include safety on roads, railways, open water, electricity and a lot more.
Children visit each scenario in groups of 6-8 for a quick but intense 10 minute interactive presentation. All the children were sent home with a safety ‘goodie-bag’ which included a Billy’s Wish branded projector torch pen and a safety promise card (a year 6 appropriate version of our anti-weapons pledge). Along with school visits and a workshop at Watford Football Academy, we spoke to over 1000 children from around 25 in a two week period in the middle of March!
Secondary School Visits
A lot of time is spent preparing for school visits: talking to teachers, making sure we deliver the right content for the schools’ needs. In the summer term, as well as schools who are delivering our lessons, we addressed over 500 secondary school children. This included two hour workshops with year 7 and year 8 pupils at Longdean, assemblies in Kings Langley School and Ashlyns School and meeting with year 8 pupils at Adeyfield school as part of their active citizenship project.
Our assembly at Ashlyns was prompted by Berkhamstead Youth Town Council who wanted to support the young people of their town in the wake of recent knife crime. The focus was on peer pressure and how to stay safe. We were well aware that this was a sensitive time for the school and were relieved when feedback from the teachers was that we had pitched the message at the right level for this group of children at this point in time.
The assembly at Kings Langley was, in contrast, incredibly hard hitting. We had a guest speaker: leading trauma surgeon, Martin Griffiths. His talk was a no holds barred session, no one present can have been left in any doubt about the devastating effects of carrying and using knives. Some of the pupils and staff were visibly affected, but the feedback on social media was very positive. Parents reported that their children had come home and they had been able to talk frankly about what they had heard and seen.
Fundraising for Billy at Chaulden Junior School
Following Billy’s Wish workshop visit to Year 6, the school council organised a pyjama-wearing fundraiaing day. We are so grateful that they did this, especially because it was Billy’s birthday. Here is what the school council shared with us:
On Friday 9th February, Chaulden Junior School held a Pyjama Day for the
children and adults who wished to participate. Everyone donated a £1 or more
to donate to Billy’s Wish, a local charity set up by the family of 21-year- old Billy
Dove who sadly passed away in 2011 by a stabbing. The charity helps warn
young people of the dangers of knives. The school raised £175.41 for the
‘We did it then as it would have been Billy’s 28th Birthday on that day,’
Chaulden pupil Darcey said. ‘It is unbelievable that something that bad could
happen near us and he was only 21.’
Lauren said, ‘I can’t believe something that sad actually happened when I was
most likely asleep with no worries and only happy thoughts. I feel so sorry for
Billy and his family as they were innocent.’
Keira said, ‘It was really really so weird wearing our pyjamas, but I would love
to do this more often!’
The event was organised by the School Council, who said ‘We are really proud
and happy to donate to such a great cause.’
I felt pretty emotional reading this – the children have clearly reflected deeply about what happened to Billy.
Hopefully our message with stay with them, helping to keep safe, as they transition to secondary school and beyond.
Our first school visit of 2018… Billy’s Wish visited one of our local junior schools today to talk to year 6 children. They watched the Zone 1 film and responded to the issues in discussions throughout the afternoon. Their questions and comments showed they were taking a serious interest in the session and showed great maturity.
As adults, we must remember how hard it is for children and teenagers to stand up to peer pressure – keep the lines of communication open with your children so when there is a problem it’s easier for them to tell you, whether the problem is big or small.
The children today all know the ‘right thing’, and clearly want to do the right thing – let’s all help them stay that way.
Billy’s Wish Winter!
We have had a busy few months – here’s a brief summary for you:
Marlowes Charity of the Year 2017
In December we had another fun day at the Marlowes shopping centre in Hemel Hempstead with Santa hosting a Christmas karaoke, and a our very own, and very talented, Sally Masson took some gorgeous portraits in our festive photo-booth. Lots of small children went away with balloons and smiles on their faces, but most importantly, we talked to hundreds of people about Billy, and how to keep themselves, or their children safe from knife crime.
Our thanks go to the marketing team at The Marlowes for giving us this opportunity – and to everyone who voted for us to be the charity of 2017.
We have always asked young people to read and sign MAMAA’s anti-weapon pledge as a promise to stay away from knives and to act in a non-violent manner. After much consideration, we have developed our own version of the pledge, including a younger version: a ‘Safety Promise’. The new pledge and promise are printed on credit card sized key fobs. In addition to the anti weapon, anti violence pledge, the cards include advice for the young people about who to contact if they are feeling overwhelmed or if they know something about a crime.
Crucially, these cards can be carried at all times – they will be a tangible and visible reminder of staying away from knives and keeping safe.
Links with schools and other youth organisations
We have had several meetings with the Watford Knife Project, a team which comprises police, youth connections, Neighbourhood Watch, ASBO teams and a pupil referral unit. The communication with all these agencies is very positive and between us, we have come up with some great ideas to bring our message in a useful, productive and engaging way.
There are schools which have reported back to us after sharing the films with their children. The opportunity to talk about these very important topics has been welcomed by the teaching staff and embraced by the children.
We are also in discussion with another organisation which could give us the opportunity to share our message, in a very interactive way with hundreds of primary school children.
Results of Billy’s Wish Dallas 5th Annual Golf Tournament
The 5th annual golf tournament in Dallas was held on Saturday 23rd September 2017 for Billy’s Wish.
72 golfers & helpers took part, ex patriots from ENGLAND, IRELAND & AUSTRALIA, along with their big hearted AMERICAN friends.
This year was different because a good friend & brother had sadly passed away earlier in the year due to Cancer. Paul Devine was a big character with a big heart, who always supported Billy’s Wish and the annual golf tournament fundraiser in Dallas.
This year and every year going forward the winners will receive a trophy in memory of Paul Devine with his name engraved.
There will also be a unique award called the “Spirit” award which does not go to a golf winner but quite the opposite, it goes to the person who has selflessly been involved, giving up their time and showing determination to help make the event extra special for everyone to enjoy.
This year the Dallas golf fundraiser event raised $7,059.00 a record amount. Not only is this event the biggest fund raiser for Billy’s Wish, but over the last 5 years has raised a staggering $23,990.00 (16,844.00 GBP).
Everyone at Billy’s Wish would like to thank John Eggleton, the Charity’s Patron & good friend, who organises this faultless & special event. We would also like to thank everyone who takes part, donates or helps out, they’re all incredible people. Plus a heartfelt thank you to Nigel Devine too, the day could not have been easy emotionally, and your presence to present the Paul Devine awards was a real honour.
Boxing for Billy 2017
Billy’s Wish Dallas 5th Annual Golf Tournament
This year, the tournament is being held in memory of Paul Devine, a special & close friend & family of the golfers taking part. In the words of Billy’s dad: “This year is going to be extra special, but also a tough one, after losing Paul Devine, who was loved by everyone. We at Billy’s Wish will never forget him for his love and generosity – helping us fight knife crime in Bill’s memory.”
Paul supported the Billy’s Wish Golf Tournament from the start, and even though he was unable to attend last year, he still insisted on paying for a team to take part. We are, therefore, proud to be able to present two trophies in his name this year: The Paul Divine Spirit trophy and the winner’s trophy.
And the winner is…
Another fantastic day, full of great people, in memory of Billy & Paul (Devine). Thank you to everyone who participated, donated or helped out. You did Billy & Paul (Devine) proud.
A full report will follow shortly!
Billy’s Wish Dallas 5th Annual Golf Tournament
Our 5th annual golf tournament is taking place in Dallas, Texas, on Saturday 23rd September.
Billy’s Wish are hugely grateful to everyone who has helped to make this event happen through sponsorship, organisation, volunteering time and skills and by taking part with us. Thank you for your support.
St Albans Half Marathon
Sunday 11th June 2017
Join Team Billy’s Wish for this annual event, to be held at Verulam Park.
Over the last few years our supporters have taken part in this event, but this is the first year that we are officially listed as a Charity team. Come and join the fun on the day!
Whatever your age or level of fitness there will be a race suitable for you.
Please click the link below for more details: