A Wellingborough-based north Northamptonshire community initiative that has pledged to eradicate knife crime has delivered its first bleed bags to shops across the area.
Members of the Off the Streets Team NN, formed in response to the fatal stabbing of Dylan Holliday on the Queensway estate in Wellingborough, have been campaigning against the carrying of knives.
Now the group have organised the purchase and distribution of emergency life-saving 'bleed bags' - first aid kits specifically designed to treat stab wounds - to be kept in convenience stores in Wellingborough, Raunds, Irchester, Finedon and Kettering with the first ones already delivered to shops.
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Co-founder Rav Jones said: "We are going to get bleed bags everywhere. Some people seem to think it won't happen in their area but we want them all over the area.
"When we first started Off the Streets it was just in Wellingborough, now we're campaigning in the whole of north Northamptonshire."
With support from Kier, G4S, Greatwell Homes and D&A decorations, 11 bleed bags have been place in shops that can be accessed during opening hours.
Mr Jones said: "We have been able to fund these bags and boxes thanks to the kind donations from the businesses and we give our thanks for them stepping up to make a difference.
"We've had lots of support from small companies and shops which is great. Now we would like bigger companies to support us with more funds to buy bleed boxes."
Bleed boxes work in the same way as public use defibrillators. A cabinet is attached to the side of a building and the contents can be located and then accessed using a code provided by 999 operators.
The kits inside are then used by a first aider to help anyone who has been stabbed. A person who is bleeding can die from blood loss within five minutes.
Mr Jones said: "While our mission is to eradicate knife crime we are very aware of the current volumes of knife-related crime, especially among children and young people. You only have to read social media or turn on the news to know this is a huge problem within our communities.
"Our hope is that in the event of a stabbing these bleed bags and boxes may well save a life."
Volunteers from Off the Streets Team NN, now a registered community interest company, have been visiting schools to talk to young people about the dangers of carrying knives.
Mr Jones has been reaching out to companies locally and nationally to support the group's work.
He added: "A major construction company has agreed to wear our logo after I got in touch with them. We are meeting with police and MP Peter Bone.
"I think there's loads of work to do but we are happy because we can see that it's making a difference and helping people."
Shops where bleed bags are stored can be identified by a red sticker in the window.
Currently the 11 locations are Londis in Grange Place, Kettering, Spar in High Street, Raunds, Premier Irchester Park Store in Wollaston Road, Irchester, and Finedon Premier in Irthlingborough Road, Finedon. Wellingborough locations are Redwell Leisure Centre in Barnwell Road, Shelley Park Stores, off Shelley Road, Sam's Chicken in Cambridge Street, Budgens in Berrymoor Road, Ock n Dough pub off Northen Way, Josan Xpress Store in Elsden Road, and PJ Bargains in Northampton Road.
The group is aiming to install fixed bleed boxes at St Mark's Church in Queensway and outside the Hemmingwell Community Centre as soon as possible.
All bags and boxes have been registered with East Midlands Ambulance Service to help 999 call centre operators help anyone with how to use the bags.