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Christmas carol released as tribute to killed young people

PUBLISHED: 09:32 19 December 2018 | UPDATED: 09:48 19 December 2018

Francesca Thompson performing her version of Silent Night. Picture: David Harrison

Francesca Thompson performing her version of Silent Night. Picture: David Harrison

David Harrison mail@davidharrison.info

A haunting rendition of Silent Night has been released as part of a campaign to stop young people being killed on the streets.

The song was the brainchild of Geoff Thompson, chair of governors at the University of East London and founder of The Youth Charter charity.

He said: “In the capital alone 127 people have been unnecessarily killed, and almost 40 were under the age of 30, the Commonwealth definition of youth.

“This just cannot continue, and what we need right now is a way of cutting through the acceptance of the murders of young people.

“Civic, community and political leaders have to say ‘enough is enough’.”

The record features Geoff’s 21-year-old daughter Francesca singing the classic Christmas carol, with the video explaining it is dedicated to all the young lives lost.

She explained: “It is a song of peace and love, and that is what we need right now.

“Like me, all these young people have a gift and I am devastated when I hear about another person losing their life so brutally and needlessly.

“Making this recording was the least I could do to add my voice to the growing echo of those of us saying the violence needs to end now.”

The song’s launch comes at the culmination of The Youth Charter’s 25th anniversary year.

The charity uses sport as a vehicle for peace and development.

Geoff, himself a former world champion in karate, explained: “This record launch is part of a wider campaign.

“Next year The Youth Charter hopes to recruit up to 10,000 social coaches in 10 of our most challenging communities to engage, equip and empower 14 to 19-year olds from disadvantaged communities through sport, art, cultural and digital-based development programmes.

“My organisation has been using this type of intervention nationally and internationally to save lives for decades, and we know it works.”

For more information about The Youth Charter, visit youthcharter.co.uk.

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