There were 349,362 violent crimes committed in the United Kingdom in 2011, inexcusable acts which have no place in our society. Unfortunately too many of us know someone who has been affected by indefensible violent crime that is prevalent in this country and others.
Against this background, it was an honour to meet Joe Hallett and Paul Davies over the weekend. These inspirational individuals have devoted their lives to combatting the social causes of violent crime through Always a Chance, a charity they founded after the tragic deaths of their close friends last year. Joe and Paul have set up the charity in memory of James Cooper and James Kouzaris, two well-loved men murdered at gunpoint while on holiday in Florida.
Among its many noble objectives, the charity aims to help prevent violent crime amongst the nation’s youth by working with young people aged 16-25. Always a Chance is aiming to address the social causes of violent crime and provide a network of support to victims and their families. In pursuit of these critically important social goals, and to achieve something positive from such a personal tragedy, Joe and Paul have side-lined their careers to establish and promote the charity.
We met these two stoic young men while they were in Manchester this weekend, raising awareness for the charity via a nationwide relay across all 92 Football League grounds in the United Kingdom. We were delighted to support Joe and Paul as they completed the Manchester leg of their stadium tour, running between the Manchester City Etihad Stadium and Old Trafford, home of Manchester United. In the process, we were honoured to meet Pete and Hazel Kouzaris, parents of James, who watched the United/Everton game as the guests of numero.
The pictures below (taken over the weekend) give a flavour for the personalities and inspiration behind Always a Chance. However, they cannot capture the outstanding determination, commitment and vision shown by those involved in response to the loss of two young men who offered so much promise.
numero believes in ‘doing the right thing‘ and, in this instance, we can’t think a finer way to demonstrate that philosophy than helping Joe and Paul in their endeavours to reduce violent crime in the country. Over the coming weeks we are going to do our bit to help raise awareness of the charity, starting with a promotional video for their website which will be based on some incredible footage captured as the boys ran between these two Manchester landmarks. We will also be hosting further Always a Chance content on the numero website and encourage any of our partners, associates and clients who have been touched by the efforts of Joe and Paul and loss of the Cooper and Kouzaris families to find out more here.
On a final note for now, we would like to extend our thanks to Arighi Bianchi (who donated two match day tickets to the group) and Manchester United for their help with the arrangements over the weekend.