Recently we were lucky to have Chuka Umunna, Labour MP for Streatham, pay us a visit at our Southwark office to find out about our work with young people in London experiencing violence, vulnerability and exploitation.
The visit was set up to highlight service delivery for young people that really works, providing young people with meaningful alternatives to gangs and youth violence. The visit is especially timely, as the summer has seen an unfortunate spike in serious youth violence.
Chuka was really interested our work and asked insightful questions about our frontline experience and projects. We talked about the realities of gangs in London (and the common stereotypes) and the lack of service provision for young people outside of the criminal justice system. It was also really useful to discuss issues that are seen as just emerging by the statutory sector.
Chuka Umunna said
“In London and my borough, Lambeth, we have seen an alarming increase in youth violence, particularly with gun and knife crime. There is often a view, which we need to challenge, that youth violence is just something that happens in certain communities.
“I refuse to stand by and do nothing while young people are dying on our streets – serious youth violence has such a devastating impact on our communities, so it’s time to focus on what works, and what more can be done to prevent the situation from getting any worse.”
Our Chief Executive, Claire Hubberstey said
“It was brilliant to introduce Chuka to the team and discuss the real issues that affect young people. The nature of our projects is to work closely with partners across London to anticipate emerging issues and respond quickly with our services and support. We believe this approach is vital to successfully meeting the needs of young people.”
(Click on the images below to enlarge.)