Waist up portrait of smiling teenage boy holding books and looking at camera in school classroom, copy space

Gang Awareness Workshops

Gang Awareness Workshops working in partnership with North Meets South Big Local a resident organisation led by the people of Marks Gate and North Chadwell Heath.

We exist to ensure the efficient use of a million pounds allocated to the area by the Big Lottery Fund (Local Trust), to address the unique needs of the people that live in our area. Our Steering Group of residents, consult and engage with their peers to identify what is important to people in our area. This information is used to create local plans for the area. 

Physical improvement of public facilities / community assets within the area: The aim of these projects is to beautify public spaces in the area; encourage residents of all ages to use existing green / public spaces in creative ways

Social activities for residents of every age group: These projects are opportunities to bring the community together, creating avenues for residents to socialise and make connections.

Positive attitudes and opportunities: These are skills and capacity building projects which foster a “can-do” mentality within the area by encouraging residents to take responsibility for change.


In response to our community research in 2020, NMS is due to launch a gang awareness and anti- grooming project in partnership with schools within the area. Our aim is to run a series of awareness workshops in both Primary and Secondary Schools, as an early intervention programme to target young people before they are engaged with/ involved in gang or criminal activities. We have commisioned Youth Unity to deliver this workshops

Grooming awareness Workshops

An interactive transition programme which will covers how to identify grooming by gang members, being safe online and around the community, self-awareness, identity and knife crime.

The workshops will be conducted in individual tutor groups to encourage pupils to share their experience with people they feel safe with.

Sessions for parents and teachers

Gangs & exploitation awareness workshops for parents and teachers: 45mins that raises awareness of cuckooing and vulnerabilities which are signs of criminal activities

The workshops are all facilitated by Youth Unity, an organisation established to provide effective help and support to young people and adults affected by group violence (gangs), drugs and other forms of exploitations (e.g., Human trafficking, CSE & extremism).

They facilitate a series of programmes dedicated to informing parents, carers, and teaching professionals against the risks of gang culture and the dangers of specific manipulations young people encounter whether it is sexual or criminally motivated. Their work is aimed at breaking down behaviour stereotypes about young people and building bridges of quality communication that bring understanding between social groups.

Base on the evidenced feedback from clients, we have identified and implemented solutions in:

  • Increased staff confidence 
  • Improved localised perspective specific to Home Grown and County Lines activity
  • Increased identification of safeguarding risks 
  • Earlier identification of positive intervention opportunities 
  • Increased engagement with the vulnerable client cohort 
  • Increased joint information/intelligence contribution   
  • Improved Trusting Relationships with vulnerable young people, parents/carers and deprived communities 
  • Helping our most vulnerable have greater resilience in saying ‘no’ to Group Violence (Gangs), Drugs and Exploitation  
  • Improved quality of bespoke professional training 
  • Better safeguarding young people from harm and enhanced professional awareness of safeguarding risks 
  • Increased joint information sharing and joint working, specific to those most ‘at risk’ from Group Violence, Gangs, Drugs and other forms of Exploitation 
  • Our community cohesion festival is a community peace campaign and celebration of young Londoners’ achievements; to shine light on the positive contributions they make to society; to promote the positive benefits of community participation and social activism and to empower vulnerable young people with practical ways to remove violence from their lives. 

Transistion workshops for year 5 & 6

Need to Know resilience training for Transition Stage pupils

‘Gangs, Drugs, Violence and other forms of Exploitation’


Josh’s Story is an interactive session delivered to young people at Years 5 and 6 (aged 9-11 years), which is a particularly vulnerable group experiencing a significant stage of transition into secondary education.  The session builds their resilience to saying ‘No’ to drugs and violence and helps them develop the cognitive (thinking) skills to better understand the risks they may well experience and to make the right positive choices. This is explored through the  experience of ‘Josh’, his family and his friends. Josh’s Story focuses on the following areas: – friendships, always being truthful, exploring and understanding the risks associated with drugs, raising awareness of peer pressure, the impact of group violence, better appreciating the consequences of wrong decisions being made and the importance of seeking positive support from teachers and peers.

To date, feedback from schools (staff and children) has been excellent and the young people have produced the most amazing art posters. Clearly, they have been empowered to make a positive difference to saying ‘No’ to drugs and violence

The aim of this series of ‘Chicken Shop’ workshops

A. Understanding the signs and stages of manipulative and grooming relationships.

B. Identifying the methods that groomers use to manipulate others.

C. Using Social media in a safe and mindful way.

D. Understanding the impact of grooming and drug debts.

E. Gaining a basic understanding of the law.

We ask the children to complete a survey at the end of each session.
How do you rate today?

How much did you enjoy the workshop? 91%
I feel more confident in the subject of the workshop 89%
How well did the teacher do in the workshop? 96%
How many stars do you give the teacher? 93%
Did you enjoy the presentation? 85%
Would you like to do more workshops like this? 98%

Youth Unity Day 2019 – Barking & Dagenham

Our first flagship festival which attracted over 1700 people from across London. 

With over 700 young people taking part in a Football Tournament from ages 11 to 18.

On the day West Ham talent scout passed by to see what the day was about and was blown away at how well organisation, which promoted him he call many other premiership clubs who attended, scouting for the next England scorer.

We are proud to say that the festival was well received by the local community with many passers by stating how great it was to see so many young people getting involved in something so positive, along with how refreshing it to see so many smiling happy faces and the community together, proof that more of these community led projects are needed.

We are already in planning for 2020, we hope to see you there!

Jon Gildersleeve a member of the community who volunteered so much of his time, played an integral part in the planning to make Youth Unity a success.  Jon worked tirelessly to help fund raise and bring awareness to our organisation.  We can not thank him enough. 

Born in London, Ben Eine is one of the most successful street artists in the world and is regarded as a pioneer in the exploration of graffiti letter forms.  This Mural was donated to MyPlace in Harold Hill and is now a firm fixture on their wall.  


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