Interrupting Youth Violence and Keeping our Young People Safe

Families are hurting in our city.

Over 30 young people have died in our city in the last year alone as a result of serious youth violence.

For many reasons including broken relationships, discrimination, poverty, addiction, mental health, poor housing and lack of support, so many of our young people are hurting. And some are hurting each other.

And that was before the added extra pressure that the pandemic has put on our young people.

We cannot ignore what is going on in our communities and whilst pondering how we got to this place of ‘crisis’ the question that everyone is trying to answer is: ‘What do we do to make things better?’

  • We’re challenging churches to pray. Regularly. Persistently. Urgently.
  • We’re working with both parishes on the ground, and expert external partners who are providing solutions.

  • We’re supporting and encouraging more initiatives to ensure that our young people have safe spaces to be.

  • We’re also looking at our response to the wider structural issues that are causing the violence on our streets with young people.

Tackling things in these ways means we pray and hope with confidence for a safer city for all our young people and their families.

Meet the Team: Natasha

Revd Natasha Beckles is leading for Compassionate Communities on Serious Youth Violence.

Natasha

As well as being in a parish in the Edmonton Area as a curate, she is working 2 days a week to help support churches in tackling this vital issue, and seeking joined up strategic solutions.

Get in touch with her here.

A powerful and compelling conversation between Bishop Rob and Natasha about the importance of getting alongside our children and young people in keeping them safe. Serious Youth Violence is all of our responsibility; and all of us can play a part in responding.

What can we do as Churches?

Firstly: You can pray.

Can you plan to pray for our city’s young people, privately and in your church gatherings? We’re putting together some prayer resources for churches for corporate prayer, so you don’t even need to know where to start.

Secondly, we’d love to support churches to take practical action.

We have three specific projects we are seeking to encourage into life in the next 3 years:

  • Education Centres in partnership with TLG

  • Encouraging Mentoring of children, young people and parents with our partners TLG, XLP and Safe Families

  • Opening Safe Spaces for Young People after schools

For more information on each of these click below:

Education Centres

TLG Education Centres enable churches to bring vital support for disadvantaged and excluded young people at crisis point in education.

We are seeking to set up Diocesan Education Centres in at least 3 locations. Get in touch if you want to find out more.

Find out more

Mentoring

One person helping one child, young person or parent who is struggling. Often all it takes is just one hour a week. We’re partnering with brilliant organisations offering training and support to become a mentor.

One person at a time, you can make a difference.

Find out more

Safe Spaces for Young People After School

Churches across London offer homework clubs, youth drop ins and games clubs in those vital hours for youth safety: between 3.30pm-5.30pm. A chance to build relationships and connect, and keep young people safe.

Could your church do the same?

Find out more

Lent Apppeal 2021

the Diocese of London Lent Appeal 2021 was around Challenging Youth Violence.

Click here for resources sermons and materials from this appeal.

Pan London Serious Violence Summit 2018

Over two hundred and fifty people from churches across London gathered at Southwark Cathedral on Tuesday 13 November for a summit on the increasing violence in the capital. Recognising that this is not an issue for London alone those present sought to find ways of working to seek to halt the violence and killing.

Resources from the event are below.

Welcome

A Biblical View

From Revd Les Isaacs, Ascension Trust Founder and CEO

A London View

From Sophie Lindon, London’s Deputy Mayor for Policing & Crime

A Young Person’s View

by Mercia Perin, former XLP Mentor

A School’s View

From Mike McKeaveaney, Assistant Director of Education for Diocese of Southwark

Workshops

How can churches support those affected by Serious Youth Violence?

How can churches be welcoming places for young people involved in or at risk of serious youth violence?

How can a church be active in its community to prevent serious youth violence?

Summary, Commitment and Commissioning

Partners