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Stratford youth conference to co-ordinate response to gun and knife crime

PUBLISHED: 16:19 18 March 2014 | UPDATED: 16:19 18 March 2014

A charity will be hosting a youth conference to co-ordinate young people’s response to the rise in knife and gun crime in the borough.

Community Links‘ Street Life initiative encourages young people to explore the issues of guns, gangs and knives and to devise their own solutions to youth crime and anti-social behaviour.

Street Life 2: The Journey Begins is led by a steering group of young people from youth clubs and projects across the borough of Newham who are training to become mentors. It builds on a successful conference event attended by over 300 young people in 2012.

The event at Stratford Circus on April 8 will include a Question Time-style panel with police, elected representatives and families affected by knife crime, as well as a multi-media performance and personal stories told through drama, poetry and song. At the end of the day, the steering group and the participants will determine the strategy for the next phase of the project.

Richard Rowe, Community Links youth operations manager, said: “Street Life aims to equip young people with the relevant skills to ensure they are part of the consultation process, can make informed choices and socially educate other young people about the effects of knife and gun crime in their own communities.”

As part of the awareness-raising work on knife crime in Newham, Street Life runs workshops at Community Links’ neighbourhood hubs on gangs, substance misuse and sexual health aimed at young people at risk of getting enticed into gang culture. Other workshops have focused on the consequences of the problem including first-aid courses on knife and gunshot wounds.

Young people who want to attend the Street Life 2 conference should contact Richard Rowe on 07785 612781 or email him at richard.rowe@community-links.org

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