A Northampton singer, who was reduced to tears after watching two teenagers get stabbed in Eastenders, has written a song to raise vital funds for five anti-violence charities.
Carol Bertogal, of Duston, is hoping the song she was inspired to write after watching a moving episode of BBC1’s soap opera EastEnders, will play a part in encouraging young people involved in gangs and violence to pursue a positive life path.
Carol, a wife and a mum to two young children, found herself in tears after watching EastEnders tackle the growing issue of knife crime when school friends Shakil Kazemi and Keegan Baker were set upon by a gang, before Shakil lost his life.
The episode, which saw Shakil laid to rest, featured real-life knife crime victims' family and friends who held up pictures of their late relatives before the show cut to the credits.
Carol, who found this scene incredibly moving, said: “I was overwhelmed with emotion as I watched the programme, especially as they used real life mothers whose children had been killed.
"The programme also made me think something needs to be done to stop the youth from killing each other.”
Overwhelmed with emotion, Carol went to bed thinking about the episode and woke up the following morning inspired to write a song called Stop the Fighting.
She added: “I want the song to change the hearts of young people involved in violence, but I also want it to support charities whose activities seek to end violence”.
So far, Carol has chosen five charities that will benefit from all the sale of Stop the Fighting, which include Word 4 Weapons, the UK’s Leading Weapons Surrender Charity who set up bins where people can dispose of knives and other weapons.
The other charities include, Mothers Against Violence in Manchester, which support parents who have lost their children to violence, Through Unity, in London, which supports families who have lost loved ones to knife, gun and gang crime.
Cure Violence, in the USA, ranked one of the top twenty NGOs in 2015, is a public health anti-violence program. It aims to stop the spread of violence in communities by using the methods and strategies associated with disease control and CHAYAH Development, in Nottingham, which works with young people in gangs.
Carol, who sings at Elim Church in Gladstone Road and care homes around the county, has high hopes for the song. She said: “It’s my desire for this song to make perpetrators of violence stop and think about what they are doing.
"We don’t want young people to die needlessly. We want them to live.
"Also, it’s imperative we do everything we can, to encourage people caught up in knife crime and violence and let them know that there is a better way to live. So, if my song helps people to do that I will have achieved my goal.”
The song will be released on November, 30 on all music digital platforms.