Image © Martell Brighten

FKCL’s First Year

May 6, 2022

Our fourth quarterly magazine celebrates our first year since launching in June last year.

And what a year it has been. The aim we set for our website was to inform and provide access to a huge range of resources to all those who wish to help young people, and to young people looking for inspiration and change in their lives. From all that people tell us, we are making that difference. We have grown so successfully because we have forged strong partnerships of the willing, promoting the work that others do, and provided an ever-growing resource of information for all young people in London, and those who stand up for them. It has been a brilliant year for FKCL, supported as ever by our amazing and committed design team Craig Kelly, Alex, Eren, and Lauren at Iconic Media Solutions. Sadly, the need for a website such as ours has not lessened. After a record year for fatal attacks in London last year, the last few weeks have once more seen an up-tick in knife attacks across London. This magazine addresses some of the issues that this presents for all of us, as well as some new solutions.

• Our Resource section is proving a valuable tool of research, packed with up-to-date reports, statistics, and information for those interested in seeing how change could work, and how to find new and developing programmes. We host those too emanating from local and central government, so that all who are interested can measure ambition against what happens. If you are looking for a relevant report this is your first port of call. To see how useful this can be look here.

• Our informative video platform here offers a range of extraordinary visons of change in action and illustrates the passion of those who fight for that change.

Our regular magazines host the widest range of practical and academic articles from those in the best position to know at first-hand how to solve the problems that young people face in Greater London and elsewhere. See our back numbers here.

Our directory here shows how our reach is now expanding into areas which lie beyond the immediate problems of young people, and the means to change their lives through inspiration, sports, arts, mentoring, training, and employment. We now also host groups that help to deal with the issues that lie at the root of the problems that these young people experience – at home, at school and elsewhere – bullying, domestic violence, and seek to address the devastation caused to families by substance and alcohol abuse, and to resist the temptations that our most vulnerable are faced with. Never more relevant than today, we host those groups who can help those who simply do not have enough money for basic day to day living.

• Our News section here offers all those we include in our directory, as well as public bodies and other partners, the opportunity to post news and events at short notice to advertise something of interest to our ever widening readership. The Met Police Chief Superintendent Jeff Boothe, Head of the Met’s Outreach programme shows us how that can work, and made the video for us that you will find on our website. We still hope that MOPAC and the VRU with whom we partner, will do the same.

• Our social Media outlets on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are constantly topical, and full of links to new information and resources.

• Finally we should thank the Press and broadcast media for giving us such a big welcome here.

Collaboration

Encouraging collaboration between groups with the similar aims, and close working with our main effective partners, is something we regard as key to any successful change. Some partners deserve special mention. Catch22 from the outset has worked with us, advised us when necessary and offered us valuable administrative support. Sheffield Hallam University, who already do much work on social justice, towards better policing and improved probation services, has offered regular insights and assistance, as well as some financial support. Our partner Local Village Network, who through its founder Rachael Box has been supportive since the start, have started to explore with FKCL the means to improve, and the means to multiply and share the individual offers we make to young people in London. We recognise the enormous contribution they have long made, and which we are now able to supplement through our other resources, Through the power of partners like Catch22, the Positive Transformation Group and the Barts trauma surgeon, and National Clinical Director for Violence Reduction, Martin Griffiths we can reach into areas of influence that public bodies sometimes miss. Finally, none of our success could have been possible without the invaluable support of those corporate, academic, and individual funders who have supported this far and are helping us through the first three years.

Our May Magazine

This edition is a wonderful example of the diversity of informed opinion each edition of our magazine has so far offered. You will find pieces here from the academic Dr Brendan King, whose recently published book 'Young Black Street Masculinities: Vulnerability, Knife-Carrying and Survival on a Disadvantaged Housing Estate' we recommend. We have a piece from the highly experienced Maria Arpa MBE Founder of the Centre for Peaceful Solutions on Understanding Gang Culture. You will find an extraordinary story of how change is possible from Andrew Pritchard, Executive founder of the AP Foundation whose own road and effective mission to bring about change started with a life of crime. We have a piece from Tyler Campbell,a highly motivated and dynamic 21-year-old whose youth Project Fridays Coventry set up with a grant of just £5,000 has already won the national CrimeBeat Awards 2022 and a Titan Gold Award for 2022. I recommend Tyler’s recent book “Fridays 7 Step Programme: How to Make the Right Decisions in your Teens”. We have a piece from the NHS Violence Reduction Team under the leadership of Martin Griffiths, the National clinical Director for Violence Reduction. We have experienced contributions from Nathan Singleton, of Lifeline Projects, an East London based project focused on working to empower and enhance the lives of vulnerable groups and communities and from Anoushka Dunic an inspiring police officer who is empowering parents and carers in the fight against knife crime. Finally, we have a rap poem about the death of Stephen Lawrence sent to us by the “Bucks Bard” Rich Pierce.


Bruce Houlder, Founder of Fighting Knife Crime London (FKCL)

www.fightingknifecrime.london

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