Dean Lynch from Challenge 4 Change visited Harpurhey training centre last week to talk to our students about knife crime. Dean works as a project manager at the centre, and also instructs and mentors groups who come to take on the aerial course and team-building activities there. As part of his role, he’s developed and delivered crime prevention programmes, and he is also in the process of designing a new study programme that will start this August.

Due to a recent spate of knife-related incidents in the area, Dean was asked to come to the training centre to raise awareness about knife crime and to show the impact of carrying knives to our students.

Dean delivers these workshops to a variety of people, with the aim of getting participants to open up about their challenges so he can help them to lead a life away from knife crime.

Speaking of his approach to the sessions, Dean said: “I want young people to take something positive away from my workshops. My goal is to change people’s lives for the better. I like to deliver the information in a unique way by getting a young person to assess their lives and behaviours – getting them to ask questions, talk about their lives and change some of their decisions.”

He added: “The workshops are all about planting the seed. After that, it is then a case of getting the organisations who work with young people on a daily basis to nurture them and help them grow in a positive direction.”

The students at Harpurhey training centre took a lot away from the session. Gemma Mann, employability tutor at the centre said: “It was a wonderful session delivered by Dean - inspirational and motivating to all of our learners. The group felt comfortable enough to discuss present issues openly and it has imprinted positively on their lives going forward. Looking forward to seeing more work like this is the near future.”

June Murphy, one of the key workers there, said: "The learners really enjoyed the workshop and they learnt a lot about the impact that knife crime has on people. Many of the learners opened up to Dean as he made them feel welcome and encouraged them to talk about the challenges they've faced. They're looking forward to Dean coming back to do more workshops with them!"

Challenge 4 Change deliver various teambuilding and crime prevention programmes to help young people with whatever challenges they are facing. To find out more, visit their website or call 0161 359 3399.