Every month, we’ll spotlight one of our 10 No More Red charity partners who are helping to keep young people safe. Kicking us off is Steel Warriors.
In the face of rising knife crime rates, communities around the world have searched for innovative solutions to combat this alarming issue.
One organisation that has taken a unique approach is Steel Warriors, an award-winning charity that combines anti-knife crime initiatives with street workout culture. Founded in 2017 with a vision to tackle this deepening public health crisis, their mission was twofold: to provide accessible outdoor gym spaces for communities and to raise awareness about the dangers of knife crime.
By transforming seized knives into outdoor gyms, Steel Warriors has not only made streets safer but also fostered a sense of empowerment and resilience within at-risk communities.
To bring their vision to life, Steel Warriors partnered with London's Metropolitan Police, who provided the organisation with the confiscated knives necessary for their initiative. The collaboration aimed to address the root causes of knife crime while inspiring positive change within communities.
We spoke to Christian D’Ippolito (Head of Marketing and Communications) about the inspiring history of the charity, their goals for the future and how you can get involved:
What do you do?
At Steel Warriors, our distinctive approach involves melting down the knives and using the steel to construct outdoor callisthenics gyms. These gyms are carefully designed to promote physical fitness and mental well-being.
Each gym is equipped with pull-up bars, dip bars and benches, encouraging people of all ages to engage in street workouts and foster a sense of unity. Free callisthenics classes are also provided three times a week in each of the three locations across London.
Our dedication to community engagement played a crucial role in their success. We have collaborated with local councils, residents, and young people to identify suitable locations. These outdoor gyms were strategically placed in gang-neutral zones transforming neglected spaces into safe and inspiring fitness hubs.
What impact have you seen in the local community?
Since its inception, Steel Warriors has made a tangible difference in numerous communities. By providing accessible outdoor gyms, our organisation has offered alternatives to violence and empowered young people to channel their energy into healthier activities. The positive impact of this work has garnered widespread recognition and we have received several awards and accolades for our approach.
Beyond gym installations, Steel Warriors continues to drive change through various campaigns and workshops. Our charity actively engages with schools, youth clubs, the prison system and community centres to educate young people about the consequences of knife crime and to promote positive alternatives.
We’re continuing to expand our reach, proving that even in the face of adversity, positive change is possible. Our unique approach to combating knife crime is a testament to the power of innovation, community engagement and resilience.
What are your current goals as a charity?
Our goals mostly revolve around expanding our network of gyms, creating a sustainable street workout movement and supporting young and disenfranchised people to meet their goals in life.
Our latest campaign involves an Official Guinness World Record Attempt for ‘the most people performing a handstand simultaneously’. This remarkable feat, currently standing at 399, requires a display of strength, balance, and determination from participants. Moreover, it’s about showing how alone we can do so little, yet together we can achieve so much.
What does it mean to you to be an official charity partner of No More Red?
Arsenal’s commitment to spotlighting people in the community, providing mentorship for talented individuals, and investing in physical spaces through the No More Red initiative is perfectly aligned with Steel Warriors’ core mission.
We’re excited at the prospect of this long-term commitment and we’re looking forward to making a difference together.
How can people get involved?
Participating in this world record attempt is as thrilling as it is straightforward. Within a 10-second window, as many individuals as possible must hold an unassisted handstand using either the floor, bars, or parallettes. It really is that simple!
We also run regular classes three times per week at each of our outdoor gyms across London.
Donate to Steel Warriors to help them continue their important work in the community.
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