A PHOTOGRAPHER from the district has used her skills with the camera to promote a fast growing national campaign.

The Knives Down Gloves Up initiative was launched last year to support young people living in communities affected by knife crime.

With the help of boxing clubs, the campaign is encouraging youngsters to stay off the streets by getting involved with boxing training.

Jennifer Charlton, who is originally from Wark, has produced a 2020 calendar showcasing some of the sports leading names.

Now living in Scotland, Jennifer travels across the North-East of England and Scotland, and as far south as London, to cover boxing events from the ringside.

In terms of knife crime, the Tyne Valley is among the safest places to live in the country. But Jennifer’s travels have raised her awareness of problems in more urban areas, with recent police data revealing London, Manchester, Slough, Liverpool and Blackpool being among the most affected by knife crime.

“I wanted to do something to help the Knives Down Gloves Up cause, said Jennifer. “I came up with this idea and it has been well supported.”

“Boxing clubs do an amazing job for the nation’s young people and their presence in our society is more vital than ever. They are extremely well run and I firmly believe they can help young people lead fulfilling and healthy lives.

“It’s not just about keeping people off the streets and away from knife crime. Boxing clubs are a good option for anyone looking to get fit and active, make new friends, and also to learn new skills and disciplines.”

Recently crowned world light-welterweight champion and Muhammed Ali Trophy winner, Josh Taylor, is among the names to be pictured in the new calendar.

Also included are a pair of welterweights who produced one of the fights of 2019 - arch rivals Lewis Ritson and Robbie Davies Jnr.

Some of the North-East’s unbeaten stars had their arms twisted get involved, such as the ‘Benwell Bomber’ Joe Laws, Alex Farrell, April Hunter, Darren Reay and Steven Robinson.

Scotland has a strong representation in Lee McGregor, Tommy Philbin, Kieran Smith, and John Thain.

Jennifer added: “I’m grateful that the boxers have all got behind the calendar and hopefully it can raise awareness, as well as money, for a great cause.”

According to the Office for National Statistics, knife crime in England and Wales reached a record high in the first six months of 2019 - up by seven per cent on the previous 12 months.

Jennifer, who is also a prominent photographer on the UK motorcycling circuit: “It’s a privilege to capture the images from ringside or trackside. I also really believe in the role sport can play in changing lives.”

To order a calender email jc.photography@outlook.com