Sunderland fundraiser teams up with gym owner to tackle knife crime

From left fundraiser Dave Potter, Marine House Gym 80 owner Stuart McKay and fundraiser Kris Haikney.
From left fundraiser Dave Potter, Marine House Gym 80 owner Stuart McKay and fundraiser Kris Haikney.

A fundraiser has teamed up with a Sunderland gym owner in a bid to tackle knife crime across the city.

Dave Potter launched an appeal to raise more than £300 to buy hand held wands to be used by door staff in pubs and clubs to search those coming in.

The stepped-up security measure comes as many venues across the city are looking at measures to tackle knife crime in the wake of the tragic death of Sunderland teenager Connor Brown, 18, who was stabbed in the city centre last month during a night out with friends.

Tragically Sunderland teenager Connor Brown died after being attacked in the city while on a night out.

Fundraiser Dave Potter, 41, said that he felt ‘something needed to be done’ to counter what he sees as increasing knife crime.

He decided to back the national ‘Lives Not Knives’ campaign to raise funds to buy the wands to distribute to door staff and now his mission has been accomplished, thanks to generous gym owner Stuart McKay, from Marine House Gym 80, on Sea Road.

He stepped in to donate £350 which will buy around 35 wands.

Dave, from Hendon, said: “I feel that the UK has seen an increase in knife crime.

“I think something needs to be done as people should be able to go out and enjoy themselves without having to worry.

“So I set up the fundraiser as I wanted to do something that would help the people of Sunderland.

“One of my friends runs Marine House Gym where most of the door lads train and he wanted to help.

“So he had donated £350 to buy 35 wands which will make it harder for people to slip through the net.

“It has been great to see everyone pulling together to tackle this issue.”

Dave will now be joined by friends Kris Haikney, 23, and John Kelly, 37, in handing out the wands to venues in the city.

The friends are also gearing up to take on a 100 mile walk on Tuesday, April 2, to raise funds for Veterans In Crisis Sunderland, Wear Recovery and the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle’s cancer care unit.
To donate to their Just Giving page visit: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/david-potter-3?utm_term=avj8nQEvY
* Two men have been charged with Connor’s murder.

Leighton Barrass, 20, of Hartside Square, and Ally Gordon, 19, of Polmuir Road, both Sunderland, are due to appear before Newcastle Crown Court later this year.

Gordon also faces a separate charge of possession of a bladed article.