A charity which aims to save lives by educating young people has been named Marlowes Charity Of The Year.
Over the next 12 months Billy’s Wish will team up with shopping centre bosses, and will hold a variety of events at The Marlowes.
Charity director Jan Maddern said it would be a boon to their work.
She said: “At the moment we’re putting together a range of activities and events which will take place throughout 2017.
“Last year was huge for us, particularly the Billy’s Wish Learning Experience, aimed at children in school Years 6, 7 and 8. Many local schools have already signed up for the next three years, and the next stage is hopefully to expand the experience more and more until it is national.”
Billy’s Wish was founded in memory of Billy Dove, a local teenager who died in the early hours of November 6, 2011, in Hemel Hempstead town centre.
His killing was followed by an outpouring of grief across the area, and inspired Billy’s family to set up a charity in his memory.
Today Billy’s Wish works with schools across the county to educate students, and does not just focus on knife crime.
The programme which schools can sign up for covers bullying, safe choices and safe adults, the consequences of decisions, and how a criminal record can affect the rest of your life.
Vince Williams, centre director at The Marlowes, said: “Our partnership with Billy’s Wish will be a key part of our Marlowes Cares charitable programme.
“Throughout the year ahead, we will be working closely with Billy’s Wish to help it continue to raise awareness and funds through centre events and donation drives and by utilising our social media channels.”
Learn more at www.billyswish.org.uk