Feb 10 2011 By Peter Carroll
A PROJECT aimed at warning Glasgow pupils of the dangers of knife crime will now go nationwide.
Medics Against Violence, launched by deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon and justice secretary Kenny MacAskill in December 2008, sends medics into schools to teach youngsters about the risks of violence and knife carrying.
The initiative, piloted in Glasgow, is looking to recruit more medics to reach pupils across the country.
MAV founder Dr Christine Goodall said: "We've had a great response from medics, teachers, pupils and parents across the Strathclyde area to the work we do.
"But to make a real difference to levels of violence in Scotland we want to be able to reach many more youngsters.
"The only way we can do that is with the help of medics who are willing to give up their free time to go into schools and talk to pupils."
Knife attacks in the Glasgow area took up 2193 hospital bed days in the space of just a year between 2008-09 - almost two thirds of the total for the whole of Scotland.
The MAV charity have 130 volunteer medics on their books, covering a range of specialities from A&E and oncology to psychiatry and psychology.
It was set up by Dr Goodall and fellow surgeons Mark Devlin and David Koppel.
Using both their experience and a specially created film featuring interviews with both victims and offenders, MAV members discuss violence with pupils from a biological, psychological, social and personal perspective. The explore how the youngsters can avoid being a victim of violence - and how to step away from risk taking behaviour like knife carrying.
MAV volunteers have met more than 4000 school pupils.
For more information on MAV and how to join, contact Lauren Thompson on 532 5816.