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Lottery funding in London takes action against knife crime

14 Apr 2009 10:38 AM

A project taking action to tackle knife crime in the community by bringing together young people, schools, police, youth services and the general public in South London is awarded a grant by the Big Lottery Fund, announced today.

The grant worth over £480,000 in total comes from BIG’s Reaching Communities programme, which aims to improve the lives of those most in need and build stronger communities.

The project Action SE17 - Helping our community tackle knife crime together in Walworth in Southwark is awarded £481,433 and led by Inspire At St. Peters in partnership with local Police, youth services, schools and community projects. Shocked at the level of knife crime in the area and after the death of a pupil at a local secondary school, Inspire brought all parties together to pool their resources and knowledge.  Local young people themselves are also heavily involved and have been a driving force.

Faith, aged 18, a local young person who runs Freestyle dance sessions at Inspire, said: “Gun and knife crime is a growing problem among young people that as a part of a wider community we need to address and change. Mostly innocent people are dying for no reason at all: this means another family is broken and left without a son or daughter.”

The main actions of the project include the creation of; Safe Zones, public buildings with trained staff where young people can seek help if they feel under threat; ‘Know the names of the kids in your street’, to encourage good neighbour behaviour; Retail Support, asking local shops not to sell knives and Positive Profiling, celebrating success of young people and to let other young people see the type of positive activities they can get involved in.

Kalapo, aged 16, who won an award for academic achievement at the project’s first Positive Profiling award ceremony, said: “Do what you think you’re good at in a positive way. If you’re good at fighting, take it to the gym, not the streets.”

The aim is to make a big difference and positive improvement in the SE17 postcode by involving the whole community. It is also hoped that Action SE17 can be used as an example and as a template that other communities could use and follow.

Charlotte Benstead, Director of Inspire and Chair of Action SE17, said: Many thanks to the whole team at the Big Lottery Fund; this will really make such a difference to us. We will be able to concentrate on a focused approach to delivery, rather than having to interrupt or stall good work to spend time fundraising.

Debbie Pippard, Big Lottery Fund Head of Region for London, said: “I think everyone who lives in London will have been shocked at the level of knife crime involving young people that has been reported and this innovative project is an excellent example of what can be achieved when communities come together to do something about it. BIG is pleased to be able to support this project, which heavily involves young people themselves and will make a real difference to the lives of individuals, families and community in Walworth.”

 

Further Information

Big Lottery Fund Press Office: 020 7211 1888
Out of hours contact: 07867 500 572
Public Enquiries Line: 08454 102030
Textphone: 0845 6021 659

Full details of the Big Lottery Fund programmes and grant awards are available on the website: www.biglotteryfund.org.uk

 

Notes to Editors

  • Under Reaching Communities, the Big Lottery Fund awards grants between £10,000 and £500,000 to projects that offer people better life chances, build stronger communities, develop improved rural and urban environments and improve health and well being.
  • The Big Lottery Fund (BIG), the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out half the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.
  • BIG is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK since June 2004. The Fund was formally established by Parliament on 1 December 2006.
  • Since the National Lottery began in 1994, 28p from every pound spent by the public has gone to good causes. As a result, over £22 billion has now been raised and more than 300,500 grants awarded across arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.