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'We're keeping his name alive' - Tavis' mum leads community sports day in son's memory

PUBLISHED: 11:30 02 September 2019

Sinead Brown-Douglas, Jasmine Stansby, Lorraine Stansby, Sharon Box and Katrina Stansby    Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Sinead Brown-Douglas, Jasmine Stansby, Lorraine Stansby, Sharon Box and Katrina Stansby Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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The families of two murder victims stood united in their fight against knife crime as the community came together for a traditional sports day in memory of Ipswich teenager Tavis Spencer-Aitkens.

Shanaya and Kaiden Nicholls- Brown   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNShanaya and Kaiden Nicholls- Brown Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Murray Road recreation ground was filled with music, food and competition as groups from across the town competed in egg and spoon races and a tug-of-war.

Tavis' mother Sharon Box organised the second annual sports day with the help of a loyal band of volunteers and was pleased to see the event grow after the success of the inaugural event last year.

Ms Box said: "It's lovely to see people coming out again, today is all about keeping Tavis' name alive.

"We will always do this sports day for Tavis and it's the kind of event I know he'd like to have been at."

Team Alpha at the sports day to celebrate the life of Tavis Spencer-Aitkens Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNTeam Alpha at the sports day to celebrate the life of Tavis Spencer-Aitkens Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

As well as uniting the community, there was an underlying message, one that Ms Box has fought for since her son was murdered in June 2018.

"It's about telling these kids they might lose their life if they carry a knife - it's just not worth the risk and not the path they have to choose.

"Tavis wasn't carrying a knife that day but he still lost his life. It's always going to ruin someone's life."

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Tavis' father, Neville Aitkens, has also spoken out against the rising issue of knife crime in Ipswich.

In an act of solidarity, the family of murdered father-of-five Dean Stansby also attended the sports day.

Mr Stansby who was fatally stabbed in Ancaster Road in February 2017.

His family and friends have come together to found the Be Lucky Anti-Crime Foundation in his honour, fighting against knife crime.

Dean Stansby's friends and family  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNDean Stansby's friends and family Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Dean's uncle, Ricky Collis, said: "Anything we can do to stop young people picking up a knife, even something like handing out flyers, can make a difference.

"It's great that there are events like this in the summer holidays to keep kids busy but there needs to be more of them.

"We'd like to see more youth clubs in Ipswich but it's great that these events get reported on because it raises their profile and more people will come to them."

On September 2, Mr Stansby's brother Paul and friend Jamie Hart will be using their tattoo parlour, Lucky 13 Tattoos in St Margaret's Street, to offer 'anti-knife crime' cross tattoos for a charity donation.

Team  Glutes and Gut at the Tav's Life sports day   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNTeam Glutes and Gut at the Tav's Life sports day Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The charity also has ambitious plans for the future, and is working on finding a location for a centre that young people can use for after-school activities and sports clubs, rather than spending their time on the streets.

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