Mum of killed Sunderland teenager Connor turns on Pallion Christmas lights and speaks on importance of raising awareness of knife crime
Tanya Brown, Mum of beloved 18-year-old Connor, who was tragically stabbed to death on a night out in 2019, turned on the Christmas lights at a festive event in Pallion, where she paid tribute to those lost during the Covid-19 pandemic and through unexpected tragedies.
Tanya and her family launched The Connor Brown Trust in his name to educate young people and raise awareness about the dangers of carrying a knife following his death.
Since launching in September, the trust has been busy reaching out to communities, working with youth groups and holding workshops.
Tanya said: “The trust is going really well since launching in September. The response we’ve had has been absolutely phenomenal. We’ve done workshops with different youth groups, we’ve reached out to children of different ages and we’ve got a lot more bookings booked in.
“We want to educate people on the dangers of knife crime, and the more children and young people we reach the more we can hopefully make a difference.”
As well as raising awareness to the dangers of knife crime, the trust also helps low-income families to be able to gain access to sport and youth clubs.
The Pallion Christmas light switch on featured a variety of singing and dancing performances from young people as well as a visit from Santa Claus who was giving out presents to those in attendance.
Tanya’s husband, Simon Brown also provided festive music for the occasion with a Christmas disco.
Tanya added: “I was overwhelmed when we got asked to turn on the lights but really happy we’ve been able to do it. Christmas has been awful the past few years as we had the court case on the run up to Christmas in 2019 and then Covid last year so we’re really looking forward to some Christmas magic this year.”
Organiser of the switch on, Councillor Karen Noble said: “We asked Tanya to switch on the Christmas lights this year because we felt that it was important to remember those we’ve lost to tragedy and Covid.”