Friday Forum: ‘We have choices and consequences’ – Brooke Kinsella (M.B.E.)

“We have choices and consequences” – Brooke Kinsella MBE

Actress and anti-knife campaigner, Brook Kinsella was welcomed to Friday Forum this week. Although admitting to being shy, Kinsella gave a powerful and thought provoking speech an audience of seventy boys.

Brooke Kinsella began her acting career as an actress by attending Amanda Sheer’s Stage School in London. At the age of seven, she had earned herself a main role in her first television series.  By her early twenties, Kinsella had appeared in numerous television series and worked with many famous actors including Keira Knightley and Russell Brand.

Brooke Kinsella’s main message related to her brother, Ben, who was tragically murdered on the streets of London at the age of sixteen. Ben was stabbed to death by a gang of 3 youths on the 29th June 2008, making him the seventeenth teenager to be murdered in an  unprovoked  attack on the streets of London that year.

Ben’s death led to widespread media coverage about the numerous  knife attacks in London. During the days following Ben’s death, friends of his family and others who had been affected by knife crime went on marches in protest. The marches by members of the community inspired Brooke to stand up for anti-knife campaigns. As a result, she set up the ‘Ben Kinsella Exhibition’.  This was a scheme to educate young people about the dangers and consequences of carrying knives.  Brooke’s main aim in setting up a trust was to change young people’s perceptions about knife crime, and she most certainly did just that.

In the first year of the exhibition being opened, two thousand people visited it.  This resulted in Brooke Kinsella being honored with the ‘Mayor’s Civic Award’ and receiving high acclaims from the Home Secretary, who now wishes to open  a further exhibition in the North West to educate even more young people.

Brooke Kinsella’s greatest accolade has been to change the law relating to the minimum sentence given for those who commit knife crimes from nineteen to twenty-five years.

Once again, we were privileged to witness the passion and determination of an individual who made a life changing choice, this time in order to campaign selflessly to try to make the streets of London and beyond a safer place.

 

 

By Will Robinson, 6S1.

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