Two medics have been recognised for their work educating youngsters across east London on the dangers of knife crime.
Paramedic Sukhjit Kadri and emergency medical technician Keith Plummer spoke to teenagers at schools across Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge in a bid to stop gang violence.
The pair received Commander’s Commendation awards for their work tackling knife crime from Det Ch Supt Stephen Clayman, who heads up the Met Police across the three boroughs.
Sukhjit said: “It is a real honour to be recognised, but the real reward has been the feedback from pupils who have talked about the impact we have had.
“We tell them about treating patients their age; our talks are emotional and relatable and we know it makes a difference.
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“I’m so passionate about this work and it is so rewarding being able to give back to the community that I grew up in.”
Sukhjit and Keith present to Year 9 pupils, informing them about what knife injuries look like and the life-changing impact they can have.
They also play a recording of a 999 call that was made after a teenager was fatally stabbed.
Keith added: “It is really nice and unexpected to get an award for a job I love doing. When you talk to the kids, you can see they are gripped.
“We have knowledge and experience of the consequences of knife crime – of seeing people hurt and seeing their families.
“So we are passionate and enthusiastic about educating kids and we can say to them: this is what we do, this is what we see, this is real.”
They deliver workshops with two other Met officers and Nathan Levy, who runs the Robert Levy Foundation.
The charity, which aims to raise awareness of knife crime, was set up after Nathan’s brother Robert was fatally stabbed in Hackney in 2004.
Det Ch Supt Clayman said: “The workshops have so much impact – they have resulted in students coming forward and giving information about other pupils carrying weapons.
“This collaborative project is delivered alongside their other work commitments and they are passionate about their goal as ultimately they are trying to make youths in London safer.”