By Jasmine Wing | @JasmineW_BN
Community projects helping to prevent and protect young people from knife crime have today received a share of £1.15m from the Mayor as part of his commitment to do everything in his power to tackle violent crime and youth violence in London.
The 34 successful groups announced include a martial arts club in Croydon, boxing clubs in Lambeth and Southwark, and mentoring workshops in Newham, Waltham Forest, Merton, Haringey and Hammersmith & Fulham.
A total of £1.4m has now been allocated to 43 anti-knife crime projects across the capital in the last few weeks, after nine schemes were awarded a share of £250,000 in March. Schemes across 19 boroughs will benefit from the new funding, including the ten boroughs most affected by knife crime.
The funding is part of Sadiq’s comprehensive Knife Crime Strategy published in June 2017, which included a £250,000 Knife Crime Community Seed Fund. The mayor has provided an additional £1.15m of new money for these projects through his new Young Londoners Fund, taking the total to £1.4m, after consultation with young people revealed that they want to be engaged with by people from their communities who they know and trust, and who have experienced some of the same issues and challenges around knife crime.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “As Mayor, I have made it a priority not only to be tough on knife crime in London, but tough on the causes of knife crime too. The tragic deaths in recent days and months have highlighted once again how urgently this must be tackled.
“The Government is letting our young people down and failing in its basic duty to keep people safe. At City Hall, we’re doing all we can to compensate for the failure of ministers and we are stepping up to provide unprecedented additional funds to the Met police, as well as driving forward a full and comprehensive Knife Crime Strategy and my £45m Young Londoners Fund, which will help many young people to thrive, prosper and make the right choices to avoid being sucked into a life of crime.
“I refuse to accept that nothing can be done to stem the appalling rise of violent crime we are seeing across the country. The community and grass-roots projects receiving funding today, alongside the projects that were funded earlier in the spring, will help root out violence within our communities and give more young Londoners the skills, support and aspirations they need to turn away from crime and fulfil their potential.”
The Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC) will work with the successful bidders to provide mentoring and support, and to assist in building relationships with Safer Neighbourhood Boards. The Knife Crime Community Seed Fund is being managed by London Community Foundation.
The Crib is a pan-London organisation receiving £35,000 to provide people who have been bereaved or affected by knife crime with specialist support, including befriending and advocacy across London. Janette Collins, founder of The Crib, said: “We are now able to spread good practice in the fight against knife crime. It is a fantastic leap forward for our families and organisation.”
The Godwin Lawson Foundation goes to schools in Enfield and Haringey to deliver presentations around the dangers of knife crime. They will receive £47,528 which will help them reach 900 young people. Yvonne Lawson, founder and CEO of the Godwin Lawson Foundation, said: “We are extremely delighted to receive this funding, it will go a long way with our early intervention and prevention programs.”
ML Community Enterprise will receive £50,000 to deliver one-to-one support, group support and counselling to 20 young people engaged in, or at risk of engaging in, knife crime and support for their families in Brixton. Ira Campbell, ML Community Enterprise Ltd, said: “The project will feature readily available victim key-workers, emotional and practical support, and one-to-one specialist therapeutic counselling including innovative arts and sports therapies. We have developed an innovative model of key-working and counselling for young victims of violence, working with the consequences of the victimhood experience and the associated major psychological trauma, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
“The primary outcome of the project is to improve young victims physical, mental and emotional health. The project aims to achieve the outcomes of supporting the reduction of violence, crime and anti-social behaviour. We aim to achieve an increase in the confidence and self-esteem of young victims, so they may identify and pursue positive opportunities.”