A POSITIVE APPROACH TO TACKLING KNIFE CRIME – A PROJECT TO UPLIFT OUR COMMUNITIES AND EMPOWER OUR YOUTH
Knife crime is a persistent and worrying concern, especially as it impacts particularly upon young people and the disadvantaged. As of April 27, there have been 27 fatalities from stabbings in London this year. Two people were fatally stabbed in separate knife attacks in the capital, in the first six hours of 2019. There are children being injured or killed by other children every day.
Our plan is to develop a pan-London network of organisations that can effectively provide local solutions to the problem and have a real impact on communities.
Our first pilot event YOUTH UNITY DAY that will attract over 1,500 to 2,000 people from across London and the UK. We are working to unite communities to tackle violent crime in our boroughs.
On June 22nd in Central Park, Dagenham we have over 40 different and varied community organisations joining forces to bring a change in violent crime. These organisations are working harmoniously to bring the community together and bring about change in perceptions that all youth are in gangs and look for trouble.
This project will raise awareness that young people can collective come together for the greater good of the community and plan for a healthy productive future. Sports, arts and music unite everyone, and this family fun day is bringing people from all ages and backgrounds. By educating and empowering we hope this day will inspire individuals to leave gang culture and formalise more positive lives by dropping knives.
To build stronger relationships, to encourage them to have a sense of pride in their communities. Starting this with Youth Unity Day other days with follow to formalise change and improve places and open spaces like parks and recreations areas, bringing back our open spaces to families, where they can feel safe and enjoy the environment and not in fear of robbery or violence.
Free our spaces for the good not the bad. Youth Unity Day will offer opportunities on how the younger generation can become more involved in their area by becoming volunteers and showing a pride in their community, gaining new skills, offer training to enhance their possibilities to aspire and fulfil their dreams and to live a life worth living.
We have over 52 teams of youth football. Boxing, MMA, Army, Police Cadets are attending. To make our event all-inclusive we have specially adapted workshops to learn DJ’ing and also music workshops on how to record a track we have included an area for therapy arts and crafts and to include an area of expression. All participants will be encouraged to engage with organisations attending on the day to take part in something on offer to them. If we can have just 100 young people sign up to get involved with a program it’s a ripple effect of positivity.
To enable this, we have engaged many local volunteers to ensure we are steering people to the right places focusing on their individual needs, requirements and aspirations. Havering MIND charity will attend to ensure we are addressing the importance of mental health issues and will offer vital support for those seeking guidance.
Our project will be engaging with local businesses in and around the area with a view to employment and training opportunities for young people and their parents and families. The entertainment on the day will involve young talent from across the area to perform music and dance. We have the Police and the Fire Brigade attending on a recruitment drive along with the Army.
There will be keynote speakers endorsing the day such as the local MPs, Council Leaders and the Mayor Barking & Dagenham who are supporting this event. Many of the organisations regularly feature on TV and radio and we will be receiving much press coverage on the event. For the event to run smoothly we have always engaged a security company to ensure safety and the local police have carried out the necessary risk assessments.
We have funded the event ourselves with some sponsorship from local companies and it is a not-for-profit event as we are not charging entry as we want this to be an event for everyone to attend.
We are blessed to have the support of many well-known music artists and all are supporting the event voluntarily, most are from the UK House and Garage scene. We also are featuring emerging young artists as the event is about empowering our youth