After her son Daniel died following a stabbing at a pub in Birmingham in 2017, Lynne Baird was determined that more had to be done to tackle knife crime.
Daniel was 26 when he was fatally stabbed in the heart at the Forge Tavern, in Digbeth. He had been out celebrating a new job with friends before he bled to death in minutes.
Since he died, Mrs Baird has campaigned to prevent knife-related killings through the Daniel Baird Foundation. The mum-of-eight founded the Control The Bleed: Save a Life campaign which provides bleed kits designed to treat wounds quickly and effectively.
She discovered so-called anti-stab kits while researching measures to combat knife deaths online in those tragic days after Daniel had gone. Her bleed kit scheme was launched in Birmingham in collaboration with the city council, business owners and police in 2019. But Lynne’s campaign is more important today than it ever has been - with daily reports of knife crime hitting the headlines and young lives being taken too soon.
Speaking to BirminghamWorld, Lynne said: “The campaign probably started on the day that Dan died outside the hospital. Dan’s brother is a doctor and he turned up at the hospital because he was actually working there.
“For somebody so fit and healthy to die so quickly, there was just anger because you don’t expect someone to go out perfectly healthy and then not come back.
“Within the next few hours you’re standing outside A&E when they’ve just told you that your son’s died from traumatic bleeding, it just didn’t make sense. And if someone would have been there and known what to do, or there would have had some kind of specialist equipment then maybe it could have made a difference and that was more or less how the kit was born on that day.”
How the bleed control kits were created
Lynne said: “I searched for something which could be used to stop bleeding and nobody really knew what I was talking about, and in the end I managed to get hold of a company based in Manchester and they put me together the first bleed control kit - which I’ve still got.”
The kits include a tourniquet, bandages and a foil blanket to help deal with serious injuries. Lynne launched the The Daniel Baird Foundation Charity and the foundation fundraised £12,000 which went toward making Birmingham the first city in the UK to have bleed-control kits and specialist first-aid training rolled out in pubs, schools, and shops.
A total of 227 bleed-control kits have been placed at different locations in the West Midlands, including the Bullring in the city centre, in response to rising violent crime and mounting fears of escalating levels of gang warfare.
The kits, which Lynne says have ‘saved many lives so far’ are now also available across the country, and Lynne says she The Daniel Baird Foundation Charity has donated around 5,000 kits to organisations across the UK. Lynne was awarded an MBE last year for her pioneering work which has helped to save the lives of stabbing victims across the country.
More fatal stabbings in Birmingham
Knife crime continues to be a huge issue across the UK, including the West Midlands and Birmingham. Last Friday (October 21) Jamie Benow, aged 29, suffered fatal stab wounds at his home address in Washington Drive in Handsworth Wood. Last month (September) 45 year-old Fuaad Husein was stabbed to death in Sparkbrook. A man has been charged with his murder.
Government data released in January showed that thousands of West Midlands youngsters were convicted or cautioned for knife crimes in just over a decade. Ministry of Justice figures for West Midlands Police show young people were involved in 3,060 knife crime cases in the region between July 2010 and June 2021 which resulted in cautions or convictions.
Lynne says this highlights the need for more to be done to combat knife crime. “I think we need more bleed control kits out there so more people could be saved, but knife crime should not be happening at all.”
In February 2019 Carlton Donaldson, 24, was jailed for life after he was found guilty of Daniel’s murder. The court heard how Donaldson, of Erdington, Birmingham, knifed Daniel after an argument over an electronic punch bag machine in the pub.
Christmas fundraiser for The Daniel Baird Foundation
Since the charity began it has had many supporters, selfless people and organisations willing to donate their time and money. Ali Campbell of UB40 made a generous donation prevously. Acocks Gren Boxing Gym held a #30forDan training event and fundraising for a second bleed control cabinet. West Midlands Ambulance worker Amber Louise ran the London Marathon and there was a charity tek to Mount Kilimanaro in June earlier this year - too mention just a few.
Lynne and the charity are hoping to keep up the good work and to raise further funds and support in the run up to Christmas. A festive fundraiser is taking place at the Sedgemere Club in Lea Hall on Sunday, 11 December. A raffle will be held with numerous Christmas prizes on offer with all donations going to the charity to help save lives in the future.
To see more about the foundation and the fundraiser, visit the website, here.
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