YOUTH EMPOWERMENT DAY
RISE! Empowering Safety Youth Day was held at Tottenham Hotspur Football club on Friday 8 June 2012
This program provides a personal safety, impact and inspiration opportunity that empowers community cohesion, personal safety, well being and development of achievement pathways promoting personal aspirations of young people
Empowering Safety, is the concept of consultant director at RISE! Empowerment, Patricia Mcleod. Initially piloted and self funded in 2009. This year the event was supported by partner organisations
- Tottenham Hotspur Football Foundation – Who were good hosts and also donated an executive tour of the stadium as first prize for the raffle
- Coombes Croft Library – Provided a venue for lunch
GREEN MAN TRAINING
Program contributors Green Man Security training ltd, were participants in the pilot program in 2009. They delivered outstanding personal safety and first aid workshops. They were able to engage effectively with the younger attendees as well as maintain the attention of the older members of the group.
Trainers Dave Gentry and colleagues tailored the training to meet the dynamics of the participants which allowed the young people to ask questions and express their concerns as well as participate in the practical applications of the interactive workshops.
Empowering Safety participants on Tour of Tottenham Hotspur
One of the Youth Stewards warming up track side
Figure 2 Home side changing area
REFORM RESPECT RESTORE
Program contributor, Mr Francis Osei from the charity Reform, Respect, Restore delivered an enthralling, compelling workshop about reformative justice. This had all of the participants on the edge of their seats. The young people learned about the consequences of committing crime and the resultant impact it would have on their future personal and career prospects.
Figure 3 Francis Osei from Reform, Respect, Restore talking to some of the younger participants
Many were astonished by what they heard. This workshop proved to be the pinpoint from which the tide of thought turned.
NIGHTINGALE BROOK YOUTH COMMITTEE – NBYC
The NBYC members acted as youth stewards for the event. They managed the health and safety aspects of the day and looked after attendees ensuring smooth transition between the venues throughout the day.
Relande from NBYC wrote, produced and directed a theatrical piece, called Freeze. The performance was based on the theme of youth personal safety. The play was dedicated to the memory of the NBYC members close friend Leroy James who sadly lost his life in a knife crime incident in August 2011.
Kemal and Mukeh, NBYC members joined Relande to perform the play to a captivated audience. It was both poignant and bitter sweet providing moments of humour and a time to reflect. This gave the young people much food for thought as they discussed the impact of the loss of their friend.
Empowering Safety participants listening intently
Patricia from RISE! Gave an account of the sequence of events from a mother’s perspective describing what it was like to receive a call informing her that her child had been stabbed. She stated that “thankfully it turned out not to be her son but sadly it was somebody else’s child”. It was her son’s best friend Leroy.
Steve, from Conscious FM, joined the discussion to recount personal experiences about youth safety, gangs and knife crime. Steve spoke eloquently about the consequential effects involvement in crime had on the family.
The discussions were rounded up by Patricia who jointly facilitated a short workshop on identifying and aspiring to achieve goals.
Empowering Safety was closed by Gospel Rapper Pastor Jahaziel and colleague who delivered a musical, spiritual upliftment which left everyone on a high!!! Jahaziel’s tune “In my neighbourhood” was particularly apt to the theme of the day. Even the Tottenham Hotspur staff were on their feet dancing.
RISE! Empowering Safety far exceeded its expectations by engaging with over sixty young people and their parents in the run up to the event. We received over fifty bookings. Young people attended from six different North London Boroughs which were:
- Tottenham Central
- Waltham Cross
Twenty percent (20%) of attendees were female and eighty percent (80%) male. The ages ranged from 9 – 24yrs. There were attendees from nine different nationalities and at least three different religious groups. A number of the young people had been excluded from school and at least two have served sentences in youth offending units.
The feedback received from attendees was outstanding!!! This far exceeded expectations. Everyone interacted well together and participated in all of the activities. An informative fun day was had by all. One hundred percent (100%) of the attendees stated that they had learned invaluable life skills and expressed an interest in attending another event and follow up summer program. The young people stated that they would recommend the Empowering Safety to their friends.
Figure 5 Participants taking in the view Track side at Tottenham Hotspur Football Club
All participants received a goody bag, T-Shirt and Empowering Safety Certificate to acknowledge their accomplishment.
A RESOUNDING SUCCESS
Innovative in its approach RISE! Empowering Safety enabled the young people to consider their personal safety and learn how just one action could send out ripples of despair for themselves, families and the wider community. They learnt that there was a need to take ownership of their situations and participate in a collective responsibility to keep safe. They acknowledged that a foundation of safety in all areas of life is imperative if they are to live fulfilling lives and achieve their full potential.
One young man summed it up. “If life is like a beach made up of many grains of sand. “The sea rolls in and we are swayed, we live up to the expectations placed on us”. “If this is life, then Empowering Safety is the grain of sand that can turn the tide”.
Leroy Travis James RIP 17.8.2011 (In his favourite green T’ Shirt) and friend
Author: PATRICIA MCLEOD
The team at RISE! Empowerment would like to thank individuals and organisations that worked with us to make Empowering Safety 2012 a resounding success.
- The Nightingale Brook Youth Committee – Relande, Deon, Mukeh, Olivia, Rianne, Kemal – Facilitation – Youth stewards – Theatre workshop
- Daryl, Osiris and Tony – Facilitation – Senior Youth Stewards
FUTURE PLANS The Empowering Safety initiative is available to schools, colleges and youth groups. RISE! Empowerment will be running the Youth day event annually. We are also rolling out a summer program of activities. Are you interested in booking an Empowering Safety event? Or wish to participate in the programme. Contact RISE! Empowerment Email: [email protected]