THE founder of Redditch Self Defence Association has been awarded for dedicating his life to helping others.
Pete Martin, who runs free knife crime classes for youngsters, scooped the High Sheriff award on April 2 for his remarkable impact on society.
It was given to him by The High Sheriff of Worcestershire, Mark Jackson OBE, who recognises unsung heroes in the county.
Pete, who has worked with nearly 20,000 young people, said: “I am humbled to receive this award – I hope it raises awareness of the awful crimes which are affecting our communities.”
The 55-year-old has been teaching self-defence since 1989 after qualifying as an instructor with the Self Defence Federation.
He has been a coach in Redditch for 31 years and has spent the last decade teaching in various schools and colleges about the dangers of knife crime.
Redditch Safer Neighbourhood Inspector Lee Page nominated Pete for the award following the success of his anti-knife crime campaigns.
“Pete’s programme provides a crucial opportunity for police and partners to divert vulnerable young people in Redditch away from the risk of criminal exploitation,” said Inspector Page.
“Youth activities play an important role in the delivery of positive messages and safeguarding measures to young people and their parents, providing a safe space to influence attitudes and behaviours.
“Without these programmes we know young people can become vulnerable to being lured into various forms of criminality including, for example, violent crime and county lines.
“We have seen some fantastic success stories and positive feedback from young people and families who have been referred to Pete and it is vital we continue to take all opportunities to engage with young people who are at risk of offending or victimisation as early as possible.”
For more information about the programme visit http://redditchselfdefence.co.uk