On 29 June 2008, 16-year-old Ben Kinsella was stabbed to death in an unprovoked attack in London. He was 16 years old.
The Ben Kinsella Trust tells young people about Ben’s tragic story and uses it to educate them away from violence. Their award-winning exhibition in Islington challenges misconceptions and changes young people’s attitudes to knife crime.
It’s also a powerful example of how communication can change hearts and minds with simple but effective techniques. For example, never, at any point in the 90-minute experience, do the Trust say: “Don’t carry a knife”. Instead, they want young people to think about the choices they make.
“Rather than telling them not to do something, they’re living, feeling, experiencing the consequences of certain choices,” explains Patrick Green, CEO.
Without spoiling the secrets of the exhibition, here are some of the other techniques the Trust uses to get its message across.
As you enter the exhibition, you’re surrounded by pictures of Ben throughout his life, with friends and family. By showing relatable moments, you make a personal connection with his life – reminded that he was a boy, not a story.
How much blood is in our bodies? When do you remove a knife if someone has been stabbed? Only once the human connection has been made and our minds are receptive, we’re educated about the realities of knife crime as they dispel common myths.
Whether you believe it’s seven times or thirty, repetition is key to our understanding and memory. The exhibition repeats its core message in several ways. Through role play and question and answer sessions, illustration and infographics, photos and videos. By using a variety of communication techniques, the exhibition reinforces its strong central message and promotes understanding.
This week, the Ben Kinsella Trust has the chance to raise £50,000 to help them tackle knife crime. If they can raise £25,000 between 30th November – 7th December, the Big Give campaign will DOUBLE the donations.