8 October, 2021
Knife crime is a longstanding issue in London, often with deadly consequences. But one charity has an innovative solution that also supports health and builds community bonds.
Charity Steel Warriors takes knives confiscated from London streets by police and recycles them into outdoor gyms. With over eight thousand knives recovered by police in 38 months, they have plenty of metal to work with. Once melted down, the knives are transformed into outdoor gym equipment, which is then placed in public parks. The best sustainability initiatives create environmental and societal benefits, and Steel Warriors do just that. All gym locations are carefully chosen according to the availability of free facilities for young people in the area, and all are located in gang-neutral zones to make sure nobody is prevented from using them. Gyms are free for any member of the public to access, and the charity even offers free training sessions.
The gyms have flourished over the past eighteen months, after indoor gyms closed during the pandemic. Even now, many people feel safer exercising outdoors. But best of all, the gyms are shared by locals of all backgrounds and skill levels, creating and strengthening community bonds. Currently there are three gyms, but the charity is keen to expand further. We think Steel Warriors gyms are a cut above the rest, and hope to see more being built soon.
By Miriam Shovel