Owen’s World: Charity set up for murdered Swindon teenager marks a year of important work

Zoe Mitchell (L) with her son Owen Dunn (R). Credit: Family handout

A charity set up after a Swindon teenager was stabbed to death has marked its first anniversary. 

Who was Owen Dunn? 

Owen died from a single stab wound in Swindon on 4 December 2022. 

He was stabbed in Mazurek Way in the town, where he was cycling to see his girlfriend.

Two teenagers were found guilty of murdering the 18-year-old and were jailed for a total of 31 years.

Detective Chief Inspector Phil Walker, of the Major Crime Investigation Team at Wiltshire Police said: "This case was shocking and challenging for everyone involved.”

In a victim impact statement, Owen’s family said his death had "changed their lives forever".

"We lost a son, a brother, a grandson, a nephew and a friend", they said.

Mourners lined the street for Owen's funeral.

What is Owen’s World? 

Owen’s World was set up following Owen’s death, to help tackle the issue of knife crime. 

In Bristol alone, three teenagers were fatally stabbed within a three week period. 

Joanne Davis set up Owen’s World and is now the founder and CEO. 

She said: “I came up with the idea when I saw the effect Owen’s murder had on my son.”

Joanne spoke to Owen’s family, and then the charity grew from there. 

A year of Owen’s World

Owen’s World marked its first anniversary at the weekend (30-31 March) and in that year they’ve distributed 11 bleed kits around Swindon, educated young people about knife crime, set up a mentoring programme, and raised £22,000. 

Last month they set up the ‘Check Your Children’ campaign - urging parents and guardians to have open conversations about knife crime. 

On Saturday 30 March Owen’s World put on an event to mark their first anniversary. 

Owen died 4 December 2022. Credit: Family handout

Joanne said: “When I stood up to do my speech I thought back to where we were a year ago and I honestly didn’t think that we’d be here. 

“We’ve got so much support we’re recognised all over the country. It just seems to be moving forward. As long as we’re getting through to at least one child, then our work has been good.

“[It was] absolutely amazing. We were quite shocked there were so many people there. 

“It was just lovely to see everybody, celebrating what we’ve done in the last year but at the same time, it’s a devastating reminder of why we’re doing it. 

“Owen was never far from anyone’s thoughts last night.”

The next year 

Touching on what they’d like to achieve in the next year, Joanne said: “We’re hoping to have a lot more bleed kits [in the next year] we’re hoping to have educated a lot more children.

“We’d like our own building to set up an exhibition so we can have schools in, to do workshops.”

Joanne’s advice to parents and guardians is to keep talking to your kids. 

She said: “Keep watching, keep showing your kids, keep talking to them, keep checking them and make them aware that you are there and they can come to you for anything that they’re worried about because you could potentially save your child from losing their lives.”