December 12 2013 Latest news:
Kay Atwal, Chief Reporter
Friday, October 25, 2013
A youth worker has won an award in recognition of the impact he has had on guiding young people away from gang culture.
Jerome Booth, from Stratford, has turned full circle to become a leader and guide for young people across estates in East London.
He was recently awarded the Jack Petchey Foundation Outstanding Leader Award for the impact he has had in helping to guide underprivileged young people in the right direction, and away from the lures of gang culture and anti-social behaviour.
Jerome works as a detached youth worker for the Hackney based charity, Skyway. He said, “I believe every child deserves the best possible start in life and it gives me great joy if I can help young people feel better about themselves.”
Jerome benefitted from the support offered by Skyway when he younger – an experience which motivated him to help other young people to reach their potential.
He believes in the vitality of youth, and that with the right support, any young person can achieve their goals.
He said: “Young people capture the essence and vibrancy of life – traits that we often lose as adults. The ability to entertain with the most unusual jokes, the ability to see life from a different perspective, and the ability to take each day as it comes – they teach me just as much as I teach them!”
Jerome has recently taken the step up to managing staff and volunteers at Skyway.
Gail Mistlin, Chief Executive of Skyway, said: “Jerome has gained the respect of all the young people he works with. He is highly effective in his role, and we have been told by a number of young people that Jerome has been the reason they have moved away from anti-social behaviour and criminality. He is a role model not only to young people, but to anyone keen to improve their own life and the lives of others.”