One of the Lives Not Knives youth work activities are taking LNK roadshows to schools in Croydon, to raise awareness to young people and teachers about the consequences of knife and youth crime. Croydon has one of the highest numbers of youths accused of all notifiable offences in London. Over the last two years knife crime figures has significantly risen in Croydon.
LNK has 6 trained mentors between the ages of 17-25. Collectively they have experienced social exclusion, teen-pregnancy, they have been victims and perpetrators of crime, ex-gang members, lost close friends to violent crime, been brought up in care and many more life experiences. They have been working together to mentor young people in Croydon and it has become more evident with, each new project the importance of peer mentoring. LNK believe that preventing young people from joining a gang or carrying a weapon is the best way to tackle gangs, knife and gun crime. Prevention is better than cure, and immediate action is something that young people can relate to. LNK have made a significant impact in the past and have had high success rates with the young people with which we have mentored.
Working within the schools, teachers can identify the pupils at risk of gang affiliation. LNK will be able to offer further support by way of mentoring. Therefore, preventing the young people from further involvement and helping them with positive life choices. This will have a significant impact on the community and help to create a safer learning environment and neighbourhood.
During the LNK roadshows the pupils have been able to communicate and articulate their problems to the team, which in turn the LNK team have been able to report to the teaching staff. The feedback from the teachers, has been hugely positive and the children have engaged wholeheartedly. We are in the process of expanding these, working in Pupil Referral Units and colleges offering personal development and pre-employability workshops; and have renamed LNK Roadshows to LNK Educate.
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