TWO Huddersfield men went on a sponsored cycle ride to London – and then gave talks to the capital’s schoolchildren about gun and knife crime.
Leon Alexis-Bailey and Milton Brown rode 220 miles to London via Manchester and Birmingham to raise £800 for Mothers Against Violence.
They called the four-day ride the Next Generation and hope to eventually turn it into a charity.
Leon, 29, of Leeds Road, Huddersfield, and Milton, from Birkby – who is leader of The Parents of Black Children Association – say this is only the start.
“We want to make a difference for the next generation,’’ said Leon. “I believe a lot of gun and knife crime in Huddersfield is never reported to the police which is why it is so important.
“You can see just what is happening on Facebook and Twitter.
“When I was younger there were youth clubs, but now there is no funding. There are postcode wars between gangs who fight one another over ridiculous stuff.
“I have two small girls and feel it is important to be seen as a positive role model.
“If this bike ride can change one person’s perspective on gun and knife crime and give them a push towards making a positive contribution to society, then it will have been worth every second.’’
Milton added: “Part of what we are trying to achieve is to provide hope, aspiration and motivation for those who could be on the margins of or are already involved in gangs.
“We feel the strong anti-gang message will stimulate the young people and their families to see that there are alternatives for a better life.’’
After reaching London the men gave a talk to schools including Clapton Girls School in Hackney.
Patsy McKie, founder of Mothers Against Violence, said: “Our aim is to influence young people away from violence and anti-social behaviour and to highlight the impact and consequences on individual families and communities. We must not give up on any family.’’
Leon and Milton were sponsored or helped by Huddersfield businesses including Wheelspin Cycles in Lockwood, Mymou Bar, Opus, The Parents Of Black Children Association, On Course Learning Solutions Ltd, Wood Clothing, Vinyl Vandals Printers and That Bar.