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Football4Impact Phase 2

FOOTBALL4iMPACT is an international non-profit organisation that uses football (soccer) as a tool for social change. The organisation aims to promote social inclusion, gender equality, and education through football. FOOTBALL4iMPACT has various projects and initiatives, and recently Youth Unity’s, Paul McKenzie was involved with the production and documenting the filming of their amazing project, both in the UK and Genva. FOOTBALL4iMPACT aims to bring together young people from diverse backgrounds and promote unity and social cohesion through football.

Promoting social cohesion is crucial in today’s world, where there is often a lack of understanding and acceptance of different cultures, religions, and ethnicities. Sports, particularly football, have the power to break down barriers and bring people together. By promoting sports among young people and providing a safe and inclusive environment, organisations like FOOTBALL4iMPACT can create a positive impact on society.

FOOTBALL4iMPACT’s initiatives are a great example of how sports can be used as a tool for social change.

To find out more please click the link

The amazing team behind this project –
the students are from Ecolint International School of Geneva

Paul McKenzie who is our Creative Director, was honoured to be invited by the team from FOOTBALL4iPACT,  rather than write about his experiences, just take a look at the filming, as always he managed to capture the energy of all the young people involved whilst ensuring that their voices are heard!

Paul McKenzie’s, who is our Creative Director, was honoured to be invited by the team from FOOTBALL4iMPACT,  rather than write about his experiences, just take a look at the filming, as always he managed to capture the energy of all the young people involved whilst ensuring that their voices are heard!



How easy is it to be GROOMED

Unfortunately, it can be relatively easy for individuals to be groomed in criminal exploitation, especially if they are vulnerable or have a difficult home life. Criminal exploitation involves the manipulation and control of vulnerable individuals for the purpose of committing crimes, such as drug trafficking, theft, or prostitution.

Grooming is a process that involves building trust and emotional connections with the victim in order to gain control over them. The grooming process often starts with the perpetrator identifying a vulnerable individual, such as a child or someone with a history of abuse or neglect. The perpetrator then seeks to establish a relationship with the individual, often by providing them with gifts, attention, or a sense of belonging.

Over time, the perpetrator may use their influence and control to manipulate the victim into participating in criminal activities. This can involve coercion, threats, or even physical violence.

It’s important to note that anyone can be targeted for grooming, regardless of age, gender, or background. However, there are certain factors that can make individuals more vulnerable to grooming, such as a lack of social support, low self-esteem, or a history of trauma.

If you or someone you know is being groomed for criminal exploitation, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible. Please check the bottom our page for resources to seek help!

Video: Paul McKenzie

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Crippled Karma – Victims of Serious Youth Violence have a voice too

This short film by Paul Mckenzie asks the question. What happens to the victims of violence? Far too often there are victims of senseless violence that feel that they have no voice. This follows the journey of a group of individuals that through destiny are reunited for all the wrong reasons. With the level of serious violence on our streets and in our houses, this short film is an insight into what a victim may feel like, and more strikingly what a victim would consider to be justice.

The film was made as a tool to teach young people and adults that we must take a different perspective when we consider how victims of violence are affected longterm.

he cast members included Abdi Omar a young man who was born with cerebral palsy. The opportunity helped him to overcome the stereotype that people with disabilities cannot take part in acting.

Three of the other cast members are autistic and they were also able to contribute fully towards the making of this short film called Karma.

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Short Film About Making Right Choices

William - A short story of making the right choices - Produced by Paul McKenzie

This film is part of an interactive workshop. Please get in touch if you would like to know more.

‘WILLIAM’ is a hard-hitting production that aims to raise awareness, kick-start conversations and build resilience around youth violence – with a focus on grooming and county lines – as part of a public health approach to tackling the issue – an issue that is seeing young people targeted. Children and young people involved with gangs and criminal exploitation need help and support. They might be victims of violence or pressured into doing things like stealing or carrying drugs or weapons. They might be abused, exploited and put into dangerous situations.

The production be targeted at two different groups:

  • Young people (year 13+) 
  • Parents, carers, teachers & professionals working with children & young people 

WILLIAM is a young man with a great future as a professional footballer. He lives in a community that is suffering the impact of serious youth violence and grooming. Many of the youth are already aware that there are “olders” that target young people to join county lines.
William is the victim of this.

He is being pressured to sell drugs on his local estate. William is reluctant to continue and has chosen to confront his manipulative older.  The story highlights the pressures that young people face and the choices they have to make.

William is also being pressured by his girlfriend to buy her gifts and he can only do this by selling drugs to raise the money.

This short film highlights the challenges involved in making the right decision to refuse the lure of groomers. 

The short film aims to:

  • Raise awareness around the risks and consequences of criminal explolitation in young people on the individual and on their friends, families and on the wider community

  • Build resilience by raising awareness, creating a common language and kick-starting conversations around the influencesfears and pressures that can lead to the decision to hurt someone or to carry a knife and how these can be managed or avoided

  • Build resilience by raising awareness of and promoting the core skills (including but not limited to: self-confidence, self-esteem, risk assessment, emotional intelligence, empathy, decision making, recognising healthy relationships) that can be used help young people to navigate a whole host of issues, critical moments and adverse childhood experiences that they may encounter

  • Raise awareness around the importance of seeking help and advice or telling someone if they are concerned about themselves, a friend or someone they know.


There are several reasons why making the right choice can be difficult:

  • Complexity: Many decisions involve multiple factors and considerations, making them complex. It can be challenging to weigh the pros and cons, assess risks, and anticipate potential outcomes.
  • Uncertainty: The future is unpredictable, and decisions often involve unknown variables. The lack of complete information can make it difficult to determine the best course of action.
  • Emotional factors: Emotions can cloud judgment and influence decision-making. Fear, stress, or personal biases can impact our ability to objectively assess the situation and make rational decisions.
  • Consequences: Decisions often have consequences, and the fear of making the wrong choice can lead to decision paralysis. The fear of making a mistake or regretting a decision can make it hard to move forward.
  • Pressure: External pressures, such as societal expectations, opinions of others, or time constraints, can add to the difficulty of decision-making. Feeling pressured to meet certain standards or expectations can create stress and impact decision-making.

Despite these challenges, there are several strategies that can help in making better decisions, such as gathering information, considering different perspectives, evaluating pros and cons, seeking advice from trusted sources, and taking the time to reflect and weigh the options. It’s important to remember that making mistakes is a part of the learning process, and sometimes, there may not be a single “right” choice. The key is to approach decision-making with a thoughtful and rational mindset, considering all available information and taking responsibility for the choices made.


SICK The Movie about Mental Health

SICK The Film

We took seven young people over the half term and embarked on a massive film project to highlight the need for more focus on mental health, we didn’t use knifes, we didn’t need guns, all we needed was a passion to change the narrative and a drive for change. We chose to address the mental health issue. So many young people are displaying early signs of mental health challenges and it this that has inspired the making of the short film SICK.

To reduce stigma, mental health needs to be seen as something that concerns us all

Using film as a platform offers a chance to bring mental health into the spotlight

Discussing a film can help people with mental health problems to broach difficult subjects

Screenings of our films that focus on mental health are used to foster discussion, create empathy and reduce stigma

Paul McKenzie production

To host a screening or book as part of an interactive workshop please contact 

SICK made history by being the first short film to every be screened at
the National Gallery in London

Award Winning

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Michael – Bullying is never right!

Youth Unity meet a group of young people in Erith through our Outreach Work and took them on a film making journey, we engaged over 25 young people over 6 weeks to make an awareness film highlighting BULLYING.  Through this journey we formed friendship groups from different schools in the borough. 

The young people who took part will continue working with Youth Unity on future projects and work with us to help spread awareness that being KIND is important.

The awareness film will be used as an education piece to empower other young people from all areas.

Feedback from the young people ...

Useful contacts

A charity that finds free legal assistance from volunteer barristers for persons unable to afford a lawyer and not eligible for legal aid. Specific eligibility criteria must be satisfied – case-by-case basis. Complete application form online here.​

a registered charity working in London Borough of Bexley to provide effective support for vulnerable young people aged 8-17; who are experiencing a crisis or ongoing problems, which can include material or emotional deprivation, physical, emotional or sexual abuse, social
isolation, bullying, or the effects of dysfunctional family life. They may have a caring role within the
family to a parent or sibling with disability or life illness

A MARAC is a regular local meeting to discuss how to help victims at high risk of serious harm. MARAC brings together representatives from a number of agencies in Bexley to discuss the safety, health and well-being of people experiencing domestic abuse (and their children). All professionals should have access to a nominated domestic
abuse lead who is trained in completing a domestic abuse stalking, harassment and honour-based
violence risk identification checklist (DASH). Email <a href=””></a> with any enquires.

Weekend/overnight residential opportunities and community based 1:1 support for young people at the risk of criminal activity, gang related, sexual exploitation, knife crime and recidivism. Early help and prevention .

Child and young person mental health services.
Call 0203 260 5200​

If you have any concerns about a child, please contact Children’s Services in the first instance. Call Children’s Services at the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 020 3045 5440 and speak to a social worker
Call:- 020 83037777
020 8303 7171
Address: Civic Offices, 2 Watling Street, Bexleyheath DA6 7AT

If you have any concerns about a child, please contact Children’s Services in the first instance. Call Children’s Services at the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 020 3045 5440 and speak to a social worker
Call:- 020 83037777
020 8303 7171
Address: Civic Offices, 2 Watling Street, Bexleyheath DA6 7AT

Mind Bexley: If you are experiencing mental distress, Mind in Bexley can help with services such as advocacy, befriending, information, psychological support services and counselling. Call them on
02083035 816
or visit their get help page.

A partnership led by the local voluntary sector (Bexley Moorings
Project, Porchlight and Bexley Voluntary Services Council (BVSC)) with the Bexley Children’s
safeguarding partnership Shield have come together to create, promote and support a parent/carer champion network for parents of young people aged 11 – 24 who are at risk of going missing, exploitation, gang affiliation and running county lines in Bexley. The aim is to provide a safe space for parents and carers who may be isolated; frustrated and lonely; seeking the right support and understanding with the issues they and their family face. This will be done through establishing a clear pathway to support, giving a voice and promoting the issues being faced to the wider community in
order to improve everyone’s future.
For further info or to access the survey in a different format please contact Anne Bennett, Bexley Moorings Project on <br>0208 304 960.

Bexley TYS provides advice and guidance at the earliest opportunity to our vulnerable young people who face, or are at risk of exploitation, family violence, parental mental ill health, substance misuse, being excluded from school or at risk of school exclusion, involvement in crime or anti-social behaviour.
Call 020 83037777
and ask for Youth Services.

Emotional support for families and friends bereaved through murder or manslaughter. Listening support is provided by volunteers who have lost a loved one through murder or manslaughter. Regional one to one telephone support.
Call 0845 872 3440.

If you have any concerns about a child, please contact Children’s Services in the first instance. Call Children’s Services at the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 020 3045 5440 and speak to a social worker
Call:- 020 83037777
020 8303 7171
Address: Civic Offices, 2 Watling Street, Bexleyheath DA6 7AT

Solace Women’s Aid is appointed by the London Borough of Bexley to provide vital domestic abuse services in the borough. Solace offers free advice and support to women, children and men in London to build safe and strong lives. Futures free from abuse and violence. Their community service will deliver a specialist domestic abuse service that provides a One-Stop Shop IDVA service for high-risk cases, an outreach service for media risk cases and resilience-building group programmes. Their aim is that all women, children and men affected by abuse are given the specialist support needed to build safer lives and stronger futures.

For safeguarding concerns and support relating to adults, contact Bexley Council on 0208 3037 777
(Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm) and ask for ‘screeners’ or email <a href=””></a>

A support service for people representing themselves in the legal process in London courts.  Can provide someone to talk to and attend court with victims, explain the court process, help clients to fill in paperwork, etc. Note they cannot act as representative or give legal advice.
Call 0300 081 0006

An online platform for adults’ mental health and wellbeing to speak with professional counsellors and communities about common issues.

Works with children and young people from the moment they experience or witness a crime, until the time when they and their worker feel they no longer need our support. They focus on reducing risk while increasing protective factors and resilience levels. Call 0808 1689 111
or request support online here.​


51st State Festival: What advice would you give your younger self?

The promoters of 51st State supported Youth Unity by giving a stand to promote the work we do to help young people and the community.

We asked festival goers “What Advice Would They Give Their Younger Self?” we had some great comments.

We had so much fun!!

Thank you to our sponsors

MS Webb, Cornerstone Group and Tesco Bags of Help, most importantly, thank you to 51st State for the opportunity!

51st State Festival August 2021

HAD IT YET_ - Havering film project)

HAD IT YET? Film Documentary in the pandemic

This short film highlights some of the concerns and challenges that a community has faced living through a pandemic along with their thoughts on the vaccination.

With the increasing demand for an answers to how we can all remain safe in the current climate of COVID-19, and the need for clarity in regards to the vaccination requirements, we took to the streets of Havering to ask people in public how they experienced the various lockdowns and also to ask them what they thought about the vaccine.

1 %
I have already had the vaccine
1 %
definately would
1 %
would not take
1 %