CAMPAIGNER John Muir MBE wants his Inverclyde anti-knife group to become an official charity.

He has tirelessly fought to change the culture and law in Scotland since losing his son Damian after a brutal knife attack a decade ago.

Now Mr Muir, who founded the Inverclyde Anti-Knife Group, is applying for charitable status in a bid to help more local people.

He said: “We will have to change our constitution to take things forward.

“The ‘gung ho’ stuff is over. We will still be called by the same name, but there will be a change of direction.

“We want to do something for the community, to help the community, but in a different way.

“Ten years is a long time to be doing the same thing.

“We will be campaigning down a different route.”

Mr Muir says if the group becomes a charity it will be able to raise its own funding and apply to access other cash streams.

He hopes through this the organisation would be able to branch out and do things like buying defibrillators to be installed in public places.

But he says it’s ‘early days’ and the group is in the process of nominating trustees, as well as preparing paperwork to submit to the Scottish Charity Regulator.

Margaret Telfer is preparing to step down from her position as the group’s chairperson after 10 years and says a new committee and new trustees is the way forward.

She said: “I am happy there is a change of direction.

“It’s a fresh start. Knife crime is still a big problem along with drugs in Inverclyde and we still need a support group for families.

“One of the things in our plan was to apply for charitable status and I’m glad that John is going to take that forward with a new committee.”

Margaret became involved after her 15-year-old grandson Andrew Newbury nearly died after being stabbed in South Street in 2008.

She said: “He needed open heart surgery and it’s still affecting him.”

Margaret heaped prise on John and the group’s efforts over the years.

She said: “We’ve achieved a lot of things, mainly thanks to John Muir. He has always been our front man. 

“It’s time for a change of direction, including tackling drugs and alcohol, and imaginatively thinking out of the box.”