Dad of Elle Edwards says Walk for Solidarity in Liverpool is 'therapy' for his loss

The dad of Elle Edwards who was shot dead at a pub on Christmas Eve says embarking on a charity walk is 'therapy' for him and coping with his loss.

Elle, 26, died after number of shots were fired at the Lighthouse pub in Wallasey, Wirral, just before midnight on 24 December.

Tim Edwards is now hoping to raise awareness of the devastating impact that gun and knife crime can have on families and communities.

He has joined forces with Scouse actor and comedian John May who is currently on a charity walk across the country for Weapons Down Gloves Up, a boxing initiative which aims to get young people off the streets and into full-time employment.

"It's been a therapy for me, it's done me the world of good," Tim said.

"I didn't know how it was going to go but it's working, it's doing me the world of good.

"This is for Elle and it's about keeping her memory alive and her name alive and keeping it going.

"And it's for Weapons Down Gloves up and the message that we're trying to get out there."

Tim Edwards' daughter Elle was celebrating Christmas with friends when she was shot dead. Credit: Family photo

Tim joined John after watching his journey on social media and messaging him.

The pair met in Worcester with Tim originally meaning to spend one or two days with John, but now he is committed to walking the rest of the route to John O'Groats at the tip of Scotland.

"This has been like therapy for me," Tim added. "We just get on, we talk, we support each other through our ups and downs, and we laugh, and then 15 miles have gone.

"We've got an opportunity to come together and raise awareness of the work Weapons Down Gloves Up, and if it helps save just one life, what more could you ask?"

Tim says the walk has 'been like therapy' for him Credit: Rebecca Cole Photography

John walked and wild camped from Cornwall to Glastonbury, before continuing through Bristol and Gloucestershire.

He was joined by Tim in Worcestershire, and the pair will reach John's hometown of Liverpool on Friday 10 March.

Tim said: "Walking into Liverpool is going to be very emotional and it's going to be special and we're going to try and make a change.

"I could have gone the other way, sat down wasting my time, waiting for things to happen and it's not an option for me, so this is perfect and it works for everyone.

"It's the message of Weapons Down Gloves Up it's what they're trying to do."

The duo will be met in Otterspool by those who have been impacted by gun and knife crime, as well as students who are nearing the end of their Weapons Down Gloves Up programme.

Liverpool boxer Tony Bellew who is an ambassador of the programme will also join them.

Locals, schools and community groups are encouraged to join, as they embark across the city.

The walk of solidarity will then end at Liverpool’s iconic Pier Head, and is expected to finish at around 5pm.

The following week, John and Tim will resume their walk towards John O'Groats.

John and Tim's Route from Liverpool:

  • Week 6: Liverpool

  • Week 7: Settle

  • Week 8: Hadrian’s Wall

  • Week 9: Edinburgh

  • Week 10: Loch Lomond

  • Week 11: Fort William

  • Week 12: Lochness

  • Week 13: Glen Morangie

  • Week 14: John O’Groats

Map of John's walk Credit: Npk media

Connor Chapman, 22, has been charged with murdering Elle and is due to go on trial on 7 June.

A man and a woman, both aged 23, have been released on bail after they were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder.

Thomas Waring, 20, has been charged with possession of a prohibited weapon and assisting an offender in connection with the incident.

John says he hopes the walk will help to spread the word about the initiative right across the country at a time when knife and gun crime has been in the headlines.

Giving up his home and his business, John has embraced the opportunity to reset his life and make a difference.

He said: “Weapons Down Gloves Up is fantastic.

"I really believe that boxing gyms are great for kids. Growing up, I saw kids that went to boxing gyms, and ones that didn’t - and there was a difference.

"These kids from the boxing gyms had structure, discipline and respect. I believe it gives kids a lot more than what you might expect.

"The WDGU programmes are such a powerful way to get these kids off the streets. I think a lot of them find validation in gangs.

John set off on his walk from Land's End Credit: Npk media

"They feel a sense of loyalty, but you can also get this sense of belonging to a family from your boxing gym, too.

"If I think about my hometown, it feels as if there’s unprecedented gun crime and violence, often with innocent young people getting hurt.

"I want to do anything I can to help this cause and the families impacted.

"If I can prevent one death, or if I can prevent a father or a mother losing their child, well that would be something, wouldn’t it?"

Weapons Down Gloves Up Credit: Weapons Down Gloves Up

What is Weapons Down Gloves Up?

Weapons Down Gloves Up (CIC) is a boxing initiative founded in 2020.

It is based around the S.E.E acronym - Sports, Education and Employment.

All of the WDGU programmes focus on unemployed young people that have left school or college - and are 16 years or older.

With a total fundraising goal of £50,000, John's challenge has already received support from some of the country's most famous TV, music and sporting stars, such as Danny Dyer, Coleen Rooney, Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher, Ali Campbell (UB40), Molly McCann (MMA champion) and Liverpool boxers Tony Bellew and David Price.

To follow John and Tim's journey click here and to donate click here.

Why are guns and gangs such a big problem on Merseyside? And what's being done to stop young people getting involved in organised crime?

We take a look in our podcast, From the North