VIDEO: Parents of single punch victim Adam Rogers launch education campaign (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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VIDEO: Parents of single punch victim Adam Rogers launch education campaign
‘FANTASTIC RESPONSE’ Dave Rogers at the launch of the education pack, below a picture of his son Adam
THE parents of 24-year-old Adam Rogers, who was killed trying to break up a fight, hope an education campaign in his memory can go nationwide.
Adam, of Dukes Brow, Blackburn, died after being punched in the head near the Gladstone memorial, in Northgate, Blackburn, in July 2009, during a night out with friends.
His family were yesterday joined at the Dunkenhalgh Hotel, in Clayton-le-Moors, by 150 people including civic dignitaries, representatives from the police, local authorities, health and education bodies, as they launched the education pack for the Every Action Has Consequences campaign, backed by the Lancashire Telegraph.
Their hope is that the pack, which includes teachers’ notes, drama workshop ideas, and a DVD, can stop a repeat of the tragedy.
The audience watched a DVD trailer featuring Adam’s family and friends talking about the impact of his death, and listened to five speakers on the campaign’s impact on young lives.
They also praised the work done by his parents.
- VIDEO: Adam's dad, Dave Rogers, talks about his son's life in an extract from the campaign DVD.
Three friends who were with Adam at St Mary’s College, Blackburn, and perform as Anonymous Harmony, sang two moving songs in his memory.
Assistant Chief Constable Andrew Rhodes was a divisional commander for Blackburn at the time of Adam’s death.
He said: “Before Adam’s death my 23-year-old son was assaulted so badly, and stamped on, that he had boot marks on his face.
“I too had an early morning call and, as a police officer, I have made those calls about tragedies. If you care about anybody, then you are vulnerable and you fear the call.”
Adam’s dad, Dave Rogers, said: “I hope that the launch generates momentum and we can roll out the pack far and wide. The response we’ve had so far has been fantastic, and when we’ve done prison visits, the reaction has been even more pronounced than in young people.
"Adam’s story has really affected how they look at their lives, and has touched on their personal experiences.
“When the story hits people, it makes them think, and that’s the first step in what we want to achieve.”
Adam’s mum, Pat, said: “We’re so pleased by the support from the different sections of the community.
"What we hope now is that some of these bodies will help fund getting the education pack out wider and wider.”
It was announced at the event that the Lancashire Partnership Against Crime has agreed to buy the pack for the whole of the county, and Lancashire County Council will roll it out in all of its secondary schools.
South Cumbria Police have already agreed to do the same.
The launch was attended by high-profile bereaved parents, including Judith and Alastair Hetherington, whose photo-journalist son Tim, a former Stonyhurst College pupil, was killed in a bomb blast in Libya; Margaret Foxley, of Pendle, whose daughter Jessica died in a car crash aged 21; Margaret and Barry Mizen, of London, and Ray and Vi Donovan, of Surrey.
The group marked the end of the event by launching hundreds of balloons into the sky to the High Sheriff of Lancashire’s shout of “Adam, he made the world a better place”.
Sixteen-year-old William Upton, of Rishton, was jailed in April 2010 for four years for Adam’s manslaughter and has since been released from prison.
Gladys Rhodes White, director of children’s services, Blackburn with Darwen Council.
“My own 21-year-old son was badly assaulted when he was 16. We will do everything we can to support this work and to make sure it is cascaded. I will be writing to all headteachers and principles in Blackburn with Darwen to get this education pack out.”
Dominic Harrison, director of public health in Blackburn with Darwen.
“Having met Pat and Dave, I realise their story wasn’t about other people, it was about me, my 18-year-old, and my youth. I could have been Adam or, in other circumstances, the person who killed Adam. All of us are being exposed to a risk, and that risk is alcohol - the cheapness and availability of it.”
Assistant Chief Constable Andrew Rhodes.
“Younger people don’t have a fear for their personal safety, and this education pack gives them that sense of awareness. It shows them the enemies that walk beside them, and it is their foresight from our hindsight. I think it will change culture.”
Mark Woodward, tutor at St Mary’s College, Blackburn.
“This pack has had an immensely powerful impact on the students. Some students have been upset, some angry, some were afraid, and some were ashamed. Adam is at the centre of the story, and people really connect to him.”
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