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FINAL WISH: Hemel Hempstead anti-knife crime charity closes after a decade of vital work

 Published on: 30th December 2022   |   By: Dean Shaw   |   Category: Uncategorized

A charity launched in memory of a Hemel Hempstead resident who was stabbed to death has closed due to the “emotional toll” on those running it.

Billy’s Wish was set up in 2012 after Billy Dove, 21 (pictured), was killed in Hemel town centre.

The anti-knife crime education charity, run by a small volunteer team including Billy’s father Paul and Paul’s partner Tanya, visited schools across the UK to offer advice to young people about preventing knife crime.

The charity also offers online resources to teach people about the choices, facts and consequences of knife crime.

However, in a statement posted on the Billy’s Wish website on December 7, it was announced that the charity “should be wound up”.

The statement reads: “As you may know, Billy Dove was killed 11 years ago on November 6, 2011. His family set up Billy’s Wish to fight knife crime through education and promoting positive activities.

“Billy’s murder destroyed our family. We have been forced to become experts in a field we wish we knew nothing about. Billy’s Wish is our way of trying to do something positive with this knowledge.

“We all feel passionately that it’s vitally important to talk about the issues around knife crime, but our pain doesn’t go away. We are now finding that the expertise required to run the charity on a daily basis, and repeatedly telling Billy’s story, has an emotional toll. We feel the time has now come for us to deal with this privately.

“Therefore, we have sadly come to the difficult decision that Billy’s Wish should be wound up.

“It is with a mixture of emotions, but particularly regret and a great deal of sadness, that the trustees have come to this decision. We have invested a great deal of time and emotion into running Billy’s Wish and we are extremely proud of what we have achieved in Billy’s memory.

“Any remaining funds will be thoughtfully distributed to charities and organisations with similar purposes and objectives to Billy’s Wish.

“We are truly grateful for the support we have received from all of you over the years.”

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