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Child Internet Safety



It should come as a surprise to no one that the Internet can be a dangerous place. Sure, the Internet allows you to access information at your leisure and connect with people in faraway places easily; however, you never know who may try to access you for harm. These dangers are magnified when children utilize the Internet, as they often are not aware of warning signs of danger. Children can easily stumble upon fake news, pornographic content, scams, and seedy individuals, even when their voyage into the cyber world began with an innocent search. Nowadays, the Internet is easily accessible to people of all ages, especially as smartphones and tablets continue to increase in popularity.


The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) is a federal law designed to protect those under 13 years of age on the Internet. Websites must follow specific rules and privacy policies. While the government wants to protect children, parents can take steps at home as well. Before allowing your child to access the Internet, here are some things to keep in mind:


First, make sure that you always have access to your child’s computer. Ideally, young children should only be able to access computers in common areas of the home. Although older children may require personal laptops for school, do not allow them to set their own passwords for the computer operating system, social media sites, or e-mail. Check in with your children frequently about their interests and the websites they are visiting or posts they are “liking” or making online. Review their webpage history through their Internet browsers. If you see something that gives you pause, talk to them about it. If you notice cyber bullying, contact the school or local law enforcement authorities. If you see that your child is cyber bullying others, discuss why that is unacceptable and inappropriate behavior, and restrict their computer and Internet access accordingly.


Many children are easily trusting and do not understand the full consequences of sharing information online. If you start teaching children while they are young, they will be better prepared to resist sharing certain information from an early age. Make sure your children know:

  • Never provide sensitive information, like their name, address, phone number, e-mail address, password, school name, nor any pictures to anyone for any reason without your permission, and never agree to meet up with anyone they meet online. Advise them that they never know who they may be talking to online, and dangerous people from the Internet who pretend to be children may try to find them and hurt them.
  • Never open e-mail messages from people they do not know. Advise them that certain e-mail messages contain viruses that may harm the computer or steal certain information contained on the computer.
  • Never respond to hurtful or disturbing messages. Advise them that if they see a hurtful or disturbing message, to let you know immediately.

The Internet is mainstay in our society, so it makes sense to teach our children how to access such a crucial resource safely. If you suspect that your child may be in danger through Internet usage, contact your local law enforcement authorities immediately.

RESOURCES: – Keeping Your Child Safe on the Internet
KidsHealt – Internet Safety


Very moving anti knife crime exhibition opens in Barking


Yesterday Wednesday 29 September saw the launch of the third Ben Kinsella Trust exhibition. Based in Barking, the exhibition is the largest of the three and explains the tragic and heartbreaking story of Ben Kinsella. It also hosts pictures and stories of other local teenagers who have lost their life to knife crime- Champion Ghanda 17 years old, Duran Kajiama 17 years old and Jody Chesney 17 years old.

Present at the event in Barking was Champion’s mum Peguy who runs All Champions Charity to support other bereaved families. Peguy is a very inspirational lady who has dedicated her life helping other families.

Beatrice Mushiya Duran’s mum was there to give her support to families of knife crime alongside Peter Chesney who was also at the event.

Supported by Barking and Dagenham Council, Councillor Darren Rodwell Leader of the council addressed the large crowd to introduce everyone to the evening’s events.

The Ben Kinsella exhibition aims to educate young people on the dangers of knife crime and help them to make positive choices to stay safe. The workshops follow the journey of both the victim and the offender through a series of unique and immersive experiences to show young people how choices and consequences are linked.

Their workshops change young people’s attitudes to knife crime; debunking the myth that carrying a knife will protect you. They strengthen peer values; ensuring young people give better advice to each other and challenge peers who are carrying (or thinking of carrying) a knife.

They currently have two exhibitions, which are based in Finsbury Library in Islington and in the National Justice Museum in Nottingham.

Ben Kinsella was a 16-year-old boy from Islington who was stabbed to death in a horrific act of senseless violence on 29 June 2008.

Ben had been out at a local pub to celebrate the end of his GCSEs with his friends. On their way home, he and his friends realised they were being followed by three older teenagers. Scared and worried, they decided to run home.

But the older teenagers chased after them. They were seeking revenge for an altercation in the club that had taken place earlier that evening. Ben and his friends had absolutely nothing to do with the altercations, but when the older boys caught up with Ben, in an entirely unprovoked attack, they stabbed him to death.

Also present at yesterday’s launch was DC Anoushka Dunic the East Area Police Gangs Engagement Officer who does fantastic work across East London helping parents and teenagers, PC Michael Wallace from Kick off@3, who does amazing work with teenagers across London, Quinton Green, the very talented spoken word artist who works with many educational organisations helping teenagers and Shirley Jackson the founder of Youth Unity who supports teenagers across east London.

This is a very moving exhibition that highlights the horrors of knife crime and the choices we make and the consequences they provide.

DC Dunic one of yesterday’s tour guides in the Ben Kinsella Room.
Shirley Jackson, Peguy Kato and Quinton Green.
SC Anthony Peltier with Spoken Word Artist Quinton Green.
DC Dunic with Quinton Green.
A Letter written by 16 year old Ben Kinsella to the then Prime Minister Gordon Brown- Ben was killed a few weeks after he wrote this letter.
Youth Time Magazine

Youth Unity: Challenging Narratives and Empowering Young People

An interview by YouthTime Magazine

Youth Unity are working hard in the UK to change the story of young people and help them with their issues. We spoke to them to find out more.

Youth Unity CIC is an innovative space for youth empowerment, and a non-profit organisation established to provide effective help and support to vulnerable young people and adults affected by group violence (gangs), drugs and other forms of exploitation such as human trafficking, child sexual exploitation and extremism. 

With offices in Kent, London and Essex, the organisation works successfully in close collaboration with statutory organisations, commissioned services and charities, by offering workshops, projects and training for young people and professionals.

In this piece, Youth Time features its contribution for young people’s wellbeing by speaking to Paul McKenzie, Youth Unity’s Head of Communications.

Introducing Youth Unity

At the beginning of our conversation, McKenzie talks about the impact of COVID-19 pandemic in their activities, whereas further in the interview, he sheds light on their key activities and the 4Ps (Pursue, Prevent, Protect and Prepare).

“With the current rise in serious youth violence and the impact of COVID-19, we created a dedicated hub for the overall wellbeing of young people from all ethnicities,” he explains, whilst adding that the organisation challenges the narrative portraying young people as bad.

Youth Unity’s focus is early intervention and early identification of those ‘at risk’ from gangs, serious youth violence, criminal exploitation and associated vulnerability strands.

To better understand this, McKenzie adds that this is something consistent with the Government’s 4P approach and contained within the Serious and Organised Crime Strategy. 

“This strategy effectively coordinates national joint working to reduce the level of serious and organised crime affecting our local communities. 

“It uses the framework often referred to as the 4Ps and strengthens a partnership approach to safeguarding our most vulnerable and tackling offenders.”

Prevent, Prepare and Protect

As McKenzie explains, their key objectives are consistent with this strategy and approach:

Prevent: To stop people becoming gang members, being exploited or taking part in violence.

Prepare: To effectively mitigate risks through preventative measures and innovative, creative media early intervention. With the aim to kick start conversations, build resilience and inspire change around complex social issues.

Protect: To strengthen adults and young people by building their emotional and cognitive (thinking) resilience, better enabling them to ‘say no’ to gangs, violence, drugs, crime and other forms of exploitation and vulnerability themes.

Youth Unity works with schools, colleges, police forces, social services, LSCBs, charities, borough councils, county councils, private businesses, national government agencies to deliver productions, workshops and training for young people and adults across the United Kingdom.

Raising Awareness About Mental Health

Currently, it is also working with several organisations to raise awareness around mental health.

“We feel the pandemic has had a massive impact on youth. With this in mind, we set out to deliver specific online workshops that are interactive and informative for all. 

“We selected several professionals to work alongside parents and young people.”

Paul McKenzie 3
Working Hard: Paul McKenzie

The workshops raised awareness and helped to enable participants to understand the early signs of a mental health issue.

“We are also delivering valuable support to young people challenged with grooming and county lines. 

“There is an increase in the deliberate manipulation of young people, and we feel that more than ever before, we need to inform young people of the dangers etc,” McKenzie says.

The workshops explore topics such as criminal exploitation, social media misuse, grooming, building positive relationships, and the law.


Youth Unity also offers advice, and guidance to many families and individuals affected by Criminal Exploitation and grooming.

“Although because of a lack of funding, we are only available via telephone. Soon we will include a mentoring provision that will enable more one-to-one work with young people and their families.”

GroomSafe has recently worked on a film project with several young people at risk of Criminal Exploitation and serious youth violence.

“During the pandemic we could create a short film that addresses manipulation and grooming, we engaged young people in basic film making and editing, to produce William an awareness film to help others facing the challenges above.”

“We have entered the short film into several film festivals, we are expecting outstanding success on this. We also intend to duplicate this process to produce another short film about online abuse.“

To date, McKenzie goes on, Youth Unity believes young people need advice and awareness to enable them to make more informed decisions in life.

“By actively raising this awareness and reaching out to young people on a grassroots level, we effect the change that they need to help avoid exploitation and grooming,” he concludes. 

About Paul McKenzie

Paul McKenzie is Professional Public Speaker, Life Coach/NLP Master Practitioner, Film Director/Producer and Author.

Paul has enjoyed changing the lives of hundreds of people over the last 20 years. 

Through his filmmaking he has developed a platform designed to provide a space for individuals within the community to express their brilliance, speak their truth and encourage the lives of others.

This is achieved by producing short powerful films that highlight specific issues and capture the unique essence of everyday people’s stories, which are now award winning.  

These films and documentaries are shared internationally and contain inspirational, thought provoking material, and reaches out to the heart of the community.

Paul remains proud to have contributed to some major changes in the way Youth Unity addresses specific issues that challenge communities, especially the issues that affect the youth.

Follow Youth Unity on Facebook and Instagram to find out more about the company and support their work.

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a2ndVoice – support for Autism

a2ndVoice are a small voluntary support group run by parents/carers living and caring for a child or adult on the Autistic Spectrum, raising awareness and understanding from different perspectives, outreaching also to the Africa, Caribbean, Asian and Minority Ethnic Communities (ACAME) and Dual Heritage Communities in tackling the taboos and myths around Autism.

Cultural Diversity is the key in making a difference amongst all individuals, communities, faith groups and organisations by bridging the gap between parents and professionals with support by Autistic Specialists and Autistic Adults.

Our aim is to:

  • To inspire, to empower, to share information and build a network in providing ongoing support pertaining to the wellbeing and lifestyle for parents & carers with children or adults on the Autistic Spectrum.
  • To provide information and support for siblings and peers.
  • Supporting girls/young women on the Spectrum who are under-represented and disadvantaged.
  • Pre-natal, autistic mothers and post-natal support workshop
  • To provide support for fathers and single fathers to share similar experiences together with male workers also.
  • Raising awareness within the BAME communities to break down cultural barriers and prejudices.
  • To provide a support service within the school setting, which outreach the hard to reach parents/carers who maybe in denial and/or lacking understanding of the condition.
  • To increase awareness by all means that our local community and businesses will lead to more personal involvement, understanding and more cultural, educational and social activities, which will create a better community and a better place for those living with Autism and other, related hidden conditions.
  • To provide information, resources and tailor made packages for Faith Groups and Establishments.
  • Working in partnership with individuals and organisations that deal with Youth Services within the Criminal Justice System.

If you are interested in making a difference, please contact us:-

Mob: +44 (0) 7947 198 362


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CODE 1 Community Group

Youth Unity has been working with CODE1 for the last year and are in talks on how we can work in collaboration to deliver more amazing projects

Code1 Community Group, are committed to investing their expertise and resources in order to further achieve their causes. They aim to support community members in a variety of ways and measuring our success not by monetary size, by more qualitative measurements such as the scale and effectiveness of our efforts. 

Just imagine what we can achieve together!


Life These Days – Young People & Covid-19

Paul McKenzie is part of the Youth Unity team was part of this amazing project and held a series of workshops working with young people who have mental health challenges.  Throughout these workshops Paul coached these young people through expressing their thoughts and feelings through art the outcome, this incredibly deep and thought provoking content.

Well done to South London and Maudsley NHS for driving such an important topic and giving these young people a voice.

Visit here for the podcast and the artwork


Health Information Champions

CAMHS Mentor Volunteer Coordinator Sinéad Brown talks about “Health Information Champions”, an exciting and innovative project that involved young people collaborating with award-winning artists Mark Chilvers and Paul McKenzie. The project was funded by NHS England and Improvement.

“Studies have shown that young people of all communities reported experiencing raised levels of stress and anxiety during the Covid-19 pandemic. The ‘Life These Days: A Young Person’s Guide to Navigating COVID 19’ creative arts project was designed as part of a winter response to this finding and aimed to ease some of the burdens caused by the pandemic.

“A group of 15 young people came together to volunteer their time in a bid to facilitate a space where young people could access accurate and timely messages about COVID 19 and enable positive health experiences. Most of the young people involved in the project were current or former users of our Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

“This co-designed project included drama games and icebreakers, debates and discussions, homework challenges, and several mini-masterclass training sessions in photography and filmmaking. Each participant involved received a film-kit in the post, which caused much excitement and anticipation to kick start the project.

“The project spanned seven weeks, delivering over a dozen workshops and our end product was over 20 co-produced digital posters each with messages from young people, one 30-minute podcast and short filmView the Facebook album here.

“We closed the project with two celebration parties – one for each of the groups (aged 7-12 and 14-18 years), where young people dressed up, brought party snacks and danced and laughed as we brought the project to a close. Each young person was awarded with a certificate of achievement and an e-voucher to thank them for all of their hard work and effort in creating and sharing uplifting and educational messages for other young people.

“Projects like this remind us that despite the difficulties weighed down on us by COVID 19 communities can still come together to support, create, learn, share, and inspire. The flexibility of remote engagement allowed us to reach young people all over South London. Relatives of participants were able to take part, former service users were involved and even inpatients on acute wards could be part of the project.

“The young people said they felt the sessions helped them to cope with the pressures of COVID 19; they also said they felt that the workshops helped them to have good mental health. The project provided the young people with a place to feel heard and recognised, to have fun; but most importantly, it was a space for young people to connect. It didn’t stop there, parents reported feelings of respite from the project, and clinicians felt that it really acted as a supplement to therapeutic sessions of the service users they were supporting.

“Finally, it is absolutely the case that the impact and legacy of this project will continue far beyond the final delivery date. The young volunteers developed their confidence, built friendships, and nurtured a love for art. All things that truly are invaluable and immeasurable.

“The parent of a child aged seven who took part said: ‘He loved it so much. He got so much from it. It boosted his confidence. His self-esteem really improved and just blossomed over the time. After each group [session] he got more comfortable. It touched my heart to see how much impact you had on him.’

“Isobel Mdudu, our Trust’s Volunteer Services Manager, said: ‘The Health Information Champions project has been wonderful. A big thanks to Sinead who succeeded in making this happen in such a short space of time – an imaginative, creative and amazing way to involve young volunteers.’

Nurjahan Ali Arobi, NHS England and Improvement’s policy lead on youth volunteering, and the project’s lead commissioner said, ‘We are delighted by South London and Maudsley’s progress with Health Information Champions, with 96 percent of participants finding the sessions either calming, exciting or inspiring.’