A mother whose son was stabbed to death is hoping to bring the Knife Angel to her hometown to prevent more youngsters from losing their lives.

Jack Woodley, who was 18, died after he was fatally attacked by a gang as he left a fun fair in October 2021.

Now his mother, Zoey McGill, 37, wants to have the powerful sculpture brought to Newton Aycliffe to raise awareness of the deadly risks of carrying knives.

Designed by artist Alfie Bradley, the angel is made out blades handed in during amnesties held by police forces across the country.

The Northern Echo: The Knife Angel when it visited Gateshead The Knife Angel when it visited Gateshead (Image: Contributor)

Zoey said: “For me personally it is in honour of Jack but is also massively important because every single day we are seeing youth violence in the news with more kids being killed.

“It will bring people together in the town Jack was raised in and the Knife Angel is so effective in terms of raising awareness of knife crime.

“We want to bring it here before we see the death of another young person.”

The Northern Echo: Jack Woodley Jack Woodley (Image: Contributor)Get the latest news, sports, and entertainment delivered straight to your device with a subscription to The Northern Echo. Click here 

Zoey is hoping it will be positioned in the town centre and form part of a community event to raise awareness of knife crime.

She said: “There used to be a summer fair in the town so it will be similar to that, but we will invite the Great North Air Ambulance and St John Ambulance who are very keen to work with young people and to show them what to do if someone is stabbed.

“There are lots of organisations and charities that can get involved.

“We hope that there will be lots of visitors coming from far and wide.

“We want to get everyone involved so as many people as possible are there and they are talking about it.”

The Northern Echo: Zoey McGillZoey McGill (Image: Northern Echo)The Northern Echo launched its hard-hitting knife crime campaign after ten youths were jailed for life for Jack’s murder in August 2022 and formed the North East Knife Crime Taskforce to address the root causes of the problem.

Regular meetings are held with victims’ families, youth workers, community groups, schools and criminal justice service professionals to discuss various strategies deter young people from carrying weapons.

Zoey is backing the campaign as well as doing her own work on social media and in schools to raise awareness of the issue.

Recommended reading:

The Northern Echo: Sergeant Andy BoydSergeant Andy Boyd (Image: Northern Echo)She has made a video with Sergeant Andy Boyd about Jack’s death which has been shown to pupils in Newton Aycliffe as part of an education programme about street violence.

Sgt Boyd has been in talks with a local firm with a view to bringing the Knife Angel to Newton Aycliffe in the summer.

He said: "This statue stands to remind us all of the importance of raising awareness around knife crime and educating people around the dangers of carrying a knife.

“We have been working with Zoey for several years and when she told us about the impact that the Angel was having in other communities, we contacted the creators with the view of it arriving in the Summer.

“If we are able to secure the Angel, it is anticipated that we will be hosting a number of educational activities whilst we have the sculpture, and additionally raise money for the Great North Air Ambulance which is a charity close to Zoey's heart.”

The Northern Echo: