‘Youth Unity’ is a very special event taking place next year at Harrow Lodge park. The event is aimed at helping young people by tackling issues right across the board from knife crime to mental health issues.
Shirley Jackson, the event organiser told the Havering Daily ‘Our aim is bring together as many youth organisations as possible and all work united.
‘I run a company called ‘Conscious Link’ where everything we do has a meaning. We started to work together with lots of youth services from knife crime groups to early intervention and mental health charities all supporting young people.
‘We want to turn the negative into positive and focus on all the good things young people achieve. People can often have negative impressions about our youth and our aim is to show all the good work going on out there.’
The event is all about youth empowerment, giving young people the opportunity to have their say and share with others their struggles.
Shirley continued ‘Our plan is to develop a pan-London network of organisations that can effectively provide local solutions to the problem and have a real impact on communities.’
Youth Unity Day will attract over 4000 people from across London and the surrounding areas, working to unite communities to tackle violent crime in the borough.
‘On June 20th 2020 in Harrow Lodge Park we will have over 80 different and varied community organisations joining forces to bring a change in violent crime. These organisations are working harmoniously to bring the community together and bring about change in perceptions that all youth are in gangs and look for trouble. Promotion is through the local councils, schools and grass root organisations. This project will raise awareness that young people can collective come together for the greater good of the community and plan for a healthy productive future.
‘Sports and music unite everyone, and this family fun day is bringing people from all ages and backgrounds. By educating and empowering we hope this day will inspire individuals to leave gang culture and formalise more positive lives by dropping knives.
‘To build stronger relationships, to encourage them to have a sense of pride in their communities. Youth Unity Day and other days with follow to formalise change and improve places and open spaces like parks and recreations areas, bringing back our open spaces to families, where they can feel safe and enjoy the environment and not in fear of robbery or violence.
‘Free our spaces for the good not the bad. Youth Unity Day will offer opportunities on how the younger generation can become more involved in their area by becoming volunteers and showing a pride in their community, gaining new skills, offer training to enhance their possibilities to aspire and fulfil their dreams and to live a life worth living. To deliver long term projects throughout the year with the organisations working under our umbrella,’ said Shirley.
The event will include over 80 teams of youth football ages 8 to 18. Boxing, MMA, Army, Police Cadets will be attending. To make the event all-inclusive they have specially adapted workshops to learn DJ’ing, an area for therapy arts and crafts which we need funding to cover the cost of equipment.
Every person taking part will be awarded a medal or award to include a strong message on the badge to make a change and believe. All participants will be encouraged to engage with organisations attending on the day to take part in something on offer to them.
‘Havering MIND charity will attend to ensure we are addressing the importance of mental health issues and will offer vital support for those seeking guidance. We are inviting groups with learning disabilities to take an active part. Our project will be engaging with local businesses in the area with a view to employment and training opportunities for young people and their parents and families. We are also working to engage young people with learning disabilities, as too often they are excluded and we need to make a change.
‘The entertainment on the day will involve young talent from across London and neighbouring areas to showcasing their music and dance, to facilitate this we will need funding for hiring a stage, sound system and secure area to view the performances.
‘There will be keynote speakers endorsing the day such as the local MPs, Council Leaders and the local Mayor’s who are supporting this event,’ finished Shirley