Community First

Busy bees wanted to support visit of anti-violence monument

Officers from Derbyshire are asking communities to get creative as they prepare to welcome an anti-violence monument to the county.

The 'anti-violence bee' will be spreading its wings and travelling across Derbyshire from 26 November 2022, raising awareness of the devastating impacts that result from various forms of violence and weapons-related crime.

Originally created in Manchester, the 11ft tall monument was created using various weapons, including knives and firearms, seized from the city's streets.

Whilst it is in Derbyshire, officers will be on hand to give advice, answer any questions and talk to visitors, and they are now asking for communities to get creative and get stuck into some art to help spread key messages and advice when it is in town.

Inspector Ellen Lovatt, from Derbyshire Constabulary's Operational Support Department, said: "It is absolutely fantastic that we have secured this monument and to be able to tour it around Derbyshire. We previously had the opportunity to host the knife angel, which is made by the same company and, similarly, made of confiscated weapons.

"That was really poignant, really emotive, and people had a lot to say and a lot of different views about it, which is great. Getting a conversation started is the key, and so we of course jumped at the opportunity to do this again with the Manchester bee.

"Whilst it's still a few weeks away from being here, we want to get people talking about it and involved in the lead up, and also create something that can be given back.

"We're asking people to make bees, whether that's a cardboard, coloured in bee from the template provided, or whether you want to get more creative, such as knitting a bee.

"It may sound like a whacky idea initially, but it's to get people talking about the bee coming to Derbyshire, get people thinking about those anti-violence messages and how they can help themselves or in their communities, and what people can do if they've got concerns. So, this really goes for any form of violence, including domestic violence.

"When people make the bees, the plan is then that they will donate them to the bee project by sending them in, and when people come to see the bee they will be available to be given to those visitors with an anti-violence message attached, to take home and share pictures and the messages on social media with the #beeunitedagainstviolence hashtag, which we then hope will leave a bit of a legacy even when the bee leaves Derbyshire.

"We've been working with a few members of the community already – this gives them a chance to really be involved, the response has been incredible so far and I hope it continues."

One of those members of the community is Sarah Wheatley and her team from WeaveKnitIt, based at Cromford Mills, one of the locations currently confirmed for the bee to visit.

As well as owning a knitting and craft shop, Sarah also runs a 'knit and natter' group, and a chance encounter with Inspector Lovatt has got the project off to a flying start.

"Ellen came into the shop and, as you do, we got talking, and having seen what we could do we began discussing the idea of getting involved in the project and making some bees." she said.

"Before I knew it, we offered to make 500 of the bees which will go around the county with the monument and I came up with a simple crochet pattern.

"We of course have people come into the shop to buy things, but I also have the workshop and the knit and natter group where a lot of Derbyshire people come. I also talk to a lot of elderly care homes and schools to get them to participate and get involved and learn a new skill, so it really is part of the community and it's fantastic to rally together and get them involved as well, and hopefully it will filter down the anti-violence messaging as well."

"We can't wait for the bee to come to the mill and for something so prominent and made out of modern, confiscated weapons, to be in this historic setting and backdrop, alongside things that local people have made as well."

Anyone wishing to make a bee to be handed out during the tour is encouraged to do so and send them in to Charlotte Swindells, Communication and Engagement, Derbyshire Constabulary Force Headquarters, Butterley Hall, Ripley, Derbyshire, DE5 3RS.

You can either create your own knitted or crocheted bee or get creative with colours and create a card or paper bee using the template on the link below:-

Submissions are asked to be sent in no later than Friday 25 November 2022.

We'd also love to see some posters for our local community about staying safe and respecting each other. We know that violence is not the answer to problems and it's all about finding different ways to resolve disagreements. Young people can be as creative as they want, make it 3D, portrait, landscape, stick things to it or use crayons – we don't mind!

The entries will be judged and the top 5 will then be put onto our social media accounts for the public to choose which poster they think should be our winner. We'll arrange for the winner to meet our armed response unit/dog section!

Poster entries and bees can be returned to Julie Berry, Youth Engagement Officer, Butterley Hall, Ripley, Derby, DE5 3RS. Deadline for submissions is Tuesday 22 November!

You can watch our full video here: Busy bees wanted to support visit of anti-violence monument - YouTube

Posted: Tue, 01 Nov 2022 14:47 by Sara Atkinson

Tags: Crime & Disorder