Venue: The Clubhouse, Victoria Park PROVOCATION
(Started with playing some music). This was a song produced by Oliver Davis – one of our young people – previously on the street – wanted to do something to get himself off the street – came together with others to create the basement studio producing music. Fearless Youth is a group that targets knife crime in the city – encourage young people to get off the streets, away from gangs and violence – to do creative digital media training – photography, film making, radio presenting, music production. We aim to create a safe space where young people can come to talk about the issues affecting them, and channel their frustrations into something useful, and develop their career options – all about empowering young people to move on to something bigger and better.
How can we help young people to be integrated into our community? How can we support young people to talk about their experience of and reactions to violence? Trying to create a safe space – challenge that young people from different areas/ post codes won’t sit together – why do we have this? We should all be together. Challenge that young people don’t feel safe face to face with the police – feel intimidated – issues around racism and stop and search. Frustration that young people don’t feel safe walking down the street – only feel safe in groups or gangs.
People carry knives – want to feel cool, like their friends. People stop when they can find something else that makes them feel better. People on the receiving end of violence are often fearful of reporting it to the police – or even going to the hospital – because they are worried about the questions they will be asked. How can we convince young people that the police, the NHS, the City Council are there for them, so they can come and open up and talk about the issues that are facing them. Also important issues about mental health
Young people excluded from school only have the streets – feel they are not wanted, have no future – leads to mental health problems. Another example of a girl who did not want to see a male doctor – when she refused to see him, the male doctor prescribed mental health medicine, although she was not ill. Young people don’t feel loved/ cared for by their community – this is why we need these conversations. Girls also have problems with gangs – and also need to be taken care of and supported and educated.