Joshua Ribera Foundation secures housebuilding funding

Bereaved mum receives funds to continue knife crime awareness scheme.

The Joshua Ribera Foundation CIC, a community project that raises awareness around youth violence – predominantly knife crime – has received £1,000 from a leading housebuilder.

Persimmon Homes Central has handed over the funds through its Building Futures scheme, which aims to support community groups working with under-18s across three categories – education & arts, health and sport.

In 2013, Joshua from Birmingham lost his life to knife crime. His mother, Alison Cope, set up the Foundation in order to visit schools and youth groups to talk about the devastating impact of youth violence.

When told of the award, Alison said: “This is wonderful news, thank you. We can use the funds to print and distribute safety awareness booklets that support families and professionals to discuss knife crime in an age appropriate and educational way.

“We are funded by schools and pupil referral units who are concerned about the 87% increase around youth violence, but sadly limitations to school budgets restricts access to the presentations. This will be a great help.”

Since losing Joshua in 2013, Alison has spoken to upwards of 440,000 young people aged 9–19.

Sarah Preston, sales director designate for Persimmon Homes Central, said: “Alison’s story is truly inspiring, and we are proud to recognise her dedication and support her ongoing cause.”

In each sector – education & arts, health and sport – as well as a £100,000 first prize, there will be a £50,000 second prize and a £20,000 third prize, while a further 87 shortlisted projects will each receive £5,000. Entries to the scheme have now closed.