Youth organization Crew Club in Whitehawk is changing the lives of young people

A WOMAN whose son was stabbed to death in one of the city’s most disadvantaged areas praised a youth club for its work to change the lives of young people.

Kim Kensett, of Whitehawk, Brighton, lost her 16-year-old son Jay in March 1999.

He was stabbed in the back with a carving knife by a man twice his age just 100 meters from their home.

She said Jay was trying to protect his young peers, including his friend Ryan Mercer who was 15 at the time.

Following Jay’s death, Ryan’s parents, Darren and Lorraine Snow, decided to start the Crew Club in Whitehawk.

The youth center aims to help reduce crime and provide activities away from the streets.

Ms Kensett said: “I am so proud that they created the Crew Club in his memory. Jay would have loved that too. He loved to be the center of attention and I can just imagine him looking at us and feeling so moved by what Darren and Lorraine did.

“The response from the community was so overwhelming when he passed away. ”

Jay got engaged just months before he was murdered and was recognized as an aspiring footballer and boxer.

Ms Kensett said: “He was such a lovely boy and I think if there had been a place like the Crew Club back then it wouldn’t have happened.

“Lorraine is amazing with kids and they all love her and love to go.

“It’s a really special place and I think it helps a lot of kids to have a much better life.

“It’s terrible to lose a child, especially if it’s murder because it’s so unfair. It still hurts. It’s hard to have just a small gravestone to visit. But what Lorraine and Darren are doing is just amazing and I think it helps the kids so much. ”

Ms Kensett, who works at Asda, now takes her 11-year-old grandson Tiergan to the Crew Club for boxing sessions. She said: “Jay was such a good boxer and it’s great that I can now take Tiergan somewhere to train as well. He’s a pretty shy boy, so it’s nice to have a place to go and meet other kids.

With Mr. and Mrs. Snow running the Crew Club, she believes the young people who go there are in good hands.

She said: “There are problems everywhere and it’s hard to avoid. But I think what they are doing is of great help in encouraging safer lives for young people. ”