Jackie Featherston

I became a volunteer for MAV in June 2004 this was just four months after I lost my eldest son Fabian to Gun crime. At the time I lost Fabian I was studying at Manchester Metropolitan University doing a degree in criminology and contemporary culture.  I lost my son while I was in my second year at University. I completed my degree and received a 2.2 BS Honours Degree. I was also awarded student of the year for completing my degree in such tragic circumstances.

I found a lot of my strength came in my dedication to doing my voluntary work for MAV. The work I did with disadvantaged young people who were either in a gang or in danger of becoming involved with gangs.  In my final year I completed a 15,000 dissertation on Manchester Gangs. It was through my work with MAV that I was able to interview gang members and ex-gang members who gave me a broader insight into their life of crime and drugs.

I continue to work with MAV six years after the loss of my eldest son. MAV is very unique in what we do. Many of our volunteers are educated to degree level and above. Many also hold down full time jobs and have family commitments but continue to play a vital role in MAV.

MAV is dedicated to improving the lives of young people. We try to revitalise peoples lives which in turn revitalises communities. MAV relies on the donations and funding awarded to us by those who empathise with our vision.  It is vital we access funding and receive donations as without this we are unable to support the communities we serve.

Statistics over the last five years show that there has been a massive decline in gun crime in Manchester and MAV have played a vital part in bringing gun crime death figures down.  Each young person’s life that we touch will help us reduce crime in Greater Manchester.

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