Families and friends of people who have died as a result of violence will come together at a special event at Liverpool Cathedral later this month.
The Serious Violence Remembrance Evening, which is taking place on Saturday 23 September from 6:30pm – 8.30pm, will bring together those affected by all types of violence.
The theme this year is ‘What is strong, not what is wrong’, and there will be a series of live music performances, poetry readings and speeches.
The event is free and there is no requirement to register or book a place; many victims’ families will be in attendance to show support for one another.
Those attending will be encouraged to light a candle at the venue and contribute to a book of condolence to share memories of their loved one. The book will be open across the weekend.
The city’s main civic buildings, St George’s Hall, Cunard Building and Liverpool Town Hall, will be lit up purple to mark the event.
It is the third year that this service has taken place. It was inspired by Mandy Jamieson whose son Danny was stabbed to death in Gateacre in July 2018, aged just 16.
Since the tragedy, Mandy has set up Danny’s Place – a charity which facilitates talks to schools, youth organisations and the probation sector about the ripple effect knife crime can have.
The event is being organised by Liverpool City Council’s Culture Liverpool and Community Safety teams, in partnership with Liverpool Cathedral and Danny’s Place.
Mandy Jamieson, Founder of Danny’s Place, said: “This event is valued by bereaved families as it gives them a chance to celebrate their loved ones.
“Together, we can share memories and pay tribute to those we have lost far too soon, which is hugely important.
“It is also important we showcase the work that is going on to educate our children about choosing the right path, as they are our future.”
Liverpool City Council Leader, Cllr Liam Robinson, said: “The evening is an opportunity for those who have experienced unimaginable pain to come together with others who have lost loved ones and be part of a supportive and empathetic environment.
“Some cases dominate the news more than others, but this is about remembering that every single life lost is an avoidable tragedy that impacts many other people for their rest of their lives.
“We want to shine a spotlight on this difficult subject, educate others on the pain it causes and hopefully prevent further tragedies from happening in our city.”
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “My heart goes out to all those who have lost a loved one to serious violence. Nobody should have to endure that avoidable heartbreak and devastation and this annual service is an important opportunity for us to come together to remember the victims and support those who have been bereaved.
“It’s also an opportunity to renew our commitment and determination to tackling violence in our communities. We have seen positive decreases in the use of gun and knives in our communities, but we can never rest until those figures are down to zero. We owe it to those innocent people who have lost their lives in the cruellest way.
“Through our Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership, we want to create a lasting legacy, by addressing the root causes of violence, to help youngsters choose a brighter path in life, to break the cycle and stop our young people being drawn into a life of crime and violence so we can all live in safer and stronger communities.”