To all friends and supporters of Billy’s Wish,
As you may know, Billy Dove was killed 11 years ago, on 6th November 2011. To try and stop this happening to other people, his family set up ‘Billy’s Wish’ to fight knife crime through education and promoting positive activities. The charity was launched in 2012.
Billy’s Wish is run by a small volunteer team and a
part-time Education Officer. Our Education Officer liaises with schools across the UK and delivers knife crime education talks locally. The Trustees are family members and close family friends who run all other aspects of the charity voluntarily.
Billy’s murder destroyed our family, we will never be the same again. Our lives have been shunted into directions no one would ever choose to take. We have been forced to become experts in a field we wish we knew nothing about. Billy’s Wish is our way of trying to do something positive with this knowledge and experience in his memory. We cannot change what happened to Billy, but we hope that we have changed some people’s perspectives.
Over the years, schools across the country have used our online resources. Through our assemblies and workshops, thousands of children have learnt about the choices, facts and consequences of knife crime. We have worked closely with the police and have won awards for our work.
We all feel passionately that it’s vitally important to talk about the issues around knife crime, but our pain doesn’t go away. The memory of what happened doesn’t fade and never will. We are now finding that the expertise required to run the charity on a daily basis, and repeatedly telling Billy’s story, has an emotional toll. We feel the time has now come for us to deal with this privately.
Therefore, we have sadly come to the difficult decision that Billy’s Wish should be wound up. We are now working towards that date being the end of 2022.
We hope that you will understand that it is with a mixture of emotions, but particularly regret and a great deal of sadness, that the Trustees have come to this decision. We have invested a great deal of time and emotion into running Billy’s Wish and we are extremely proud of what we have achieved in Billy’s memory. We are proud that so many young people have benefited from it and were inspired to choose Billy’s Wish as the charity they want to promote and support. We all feel that if our work has saved or improved even just one life then it was worth everything we put in.
Our work with schools has continued throughout the Autumn term. At the end of the year, any remaining funds will be thoughtfully distributed to charities and organisations with similar purposes and objectives to Billy’s Wish. We will share more details later, but we hope to include local charities and the Ben Kinsella Trust, a knife crime education charity, who do amazing work and have supported us from the beginning.
We are truly grateful for the support we have received from all of you over the years, from the school cake sales to the huge golf and boxing events! Every donation we have received over the last 10 years has helped us get the anti-knife crime and positive activity message across.
We couldn’t have done it without you, thank you!
From the Billy’s Wish Team
Founders: Paul Dove – Billy’s dad, Tanya Dove, Sally Masson – Billy’s Aunt and Chair of Trustees
Billy’s Cousins, who have all represented Billy’s Wish in public speaking and school visits: Devon Masson – Trustee, Jade Masson, Fin Masson
Family Friends: Fiona Halsey – Trustee (Finance), Katharine Harper, Education Officer