12 months on from the murder of teenager Jai Hughes in Bellingham, South-east London, award winning film producer, actress and CEO of Ida Rose, Shantelle Rochester (pictured) has launched a self defence social enterprise fund in his name to empower young people at risk from knife crime.
Rochester, who is also Jai’s aunt, spoke of the need to enable other young people to receive vital training and gain knowledge of first aid and defence techniques to prevent deaths like her nephew’s from happening to another family.
Launching ‘Jai’s World Initiative’ in partnership with On Point Communications and CSE Stunts, the fund (courtesy of the Ida Rose Foundation) will help facilitate weekly self defence classes in Bellingham, where the 15 year old was born and raised.
For those who sign up to the classes, expenses will be covered to help enable young people from across London and the South-east to attend. There are plans to expand accessibility to young people nationwide. Youths under 25 attending the classes will get the chance to be certified in Kung Fu and first aid. Classes will also be provided for parents and guardians to learn how to safely dis-arm assailants and act as community first responders at the scene of a crime.
Hughes’s senseless murder on the 1st of November last year sparked outrage in the capital and led to urgent calls for action from the local community and local government.
Ms Rochester, who led the calls for action after a live interview on BBC Radio London said:
“After seeing the CCTV footage which captured the moment my nephew’s life was senselessly taken away from him, it dawned on me that if he had known of just one self defence manoeuvre, he could have potentially saved his own life.”
Drill rapper Nyron Jean-Baptiste, 18, was sentenced to 19 years for Jai’s murder in August of this year. Following his conviction, Jai’s family have been looking at ways to commemorate his legacy through positive outreach – inspiring communities in the process and helping to educate and equip young people with the know-how to protect themselves from attack and help others who may also be at risk. Events have been planned to mark the one year anniversary of Jai’s death including a special service to be held at Jai’s local school.
To donate and support Jai’s World Initiative, visit: https://www.gofundme.com/f/jais-world-Initiative