Young people organise Stratford conference on youth crime

UEL chair of governors Geoff Thompson and some of the young people who organised the conference Pict

UEL chair of governors Geoff Thompson and some of the young people who organised the conference Picture: UEL - Credit: UEL

Young people came together to organise a conference on youth crime in the borough,

The youngsters planned and delivered the session, which was hosted at the University of East London’s Stratford campus, in response to the escalation of violence in the borough.

It was supported by Youth Movements and the Children in Care Council and attended by professionals from groups ranging from the Metropolitan Police to Newham Council.

The young organisers approached UEL about providing space for the conference, and the university offered up the University Square Stratford building free of charge.

Gail May, director of civic engagement at UEL, said, “This was an easy proposal to say yes to.

“The young people, supported by proactive staff at Youth Movements, created an innovative programme through which young people have been engaged in developing solutions alongside a range of professionals.

“This aligns with the approach we take at UEL to civic engagement: our students working in partnership with communities and professionals to respond innovatively and creatively to challenges.

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“We look forward to continuing to support the development of the great ideas we have seen put forward.”

Following the conference, the university’s chair of governors Geoff Thompson pledged continued support in helping young people find solutions to their concerns about crime and safety in Newham, and said that UEL is committed to working collaboratively with members of the community.

He said: “I was delighted that UEL was approached to host this event, as the conference places young people at the centre of the exploration of the issues and in the proposing of solutions.

“We have heard from young people about the challenges they face and, more importantly, about what could be done to address these challenges.

Mr Thompson, who is also executive chair of the Youth Charter charity, added: “I have spent 25 years developing and delivering collaborative solutions internationally and through the establishment of a “community campus” model in Greater Manchester.

“Today I am committing some of UEL’s resources to developing a “community campus” for east London to respond to the challenge laid down today by the young people.”