A cold sensation travelled through my body, down my spine and across my arms when I heard the news. You’ve never been the hug type but we both know I am and in that moment I wanted to squeeze you so tight – a reminder that though we drifted, my love for you remains untouched and here I am whenever I can.
My heart completely goes out to my dear friend, Naya Anim-Boadu and her family for the loss of their brother and son, Kwasi Anim-Boadu aged 20. With the rest of his precious life ahead of him drastically cut short to the raging knife crime in London on Saturday 21st April, he is not able to celebrate his 21st birthday, today! Mother’s burying their children because of crime causing a pain like no other and siblings losing siblings not to natural deaths but to merciless murders, how is this justice?
The murder statistics for London 2018 alone are nothing but hair-raising!
Eight murders investigated in January, fifth-teen murders investigated in February and twenty-two murders investigated in March; with a continuation of murders investigated in April – more than half caused by stab wounds. With knife crime in-particular at their highest level in six years and clearly still on the rise, it’s an urgency in need of great attention.
Youth services are somewhat relied upon to engage and support young people in the hope of diverting their lives on the streets to a brighter, healthier and safer future. Yet, an updated 2018 report done by Sian Berry, Green Party member of the London assembly, shows that since 2011/12, £145 million worth of cuts have now been made to our youth service’ with further cuts planned for the year, 800 cuts to full time youth worker jobs and 81 youth centres and council-funded projects lost!
For youth services to continue running substantial services for young people these statistics need to change!
As a conflict management trainer, I along many others are actively providing engagement and support for young people – through group workshops, 1:1’s, helping them set and achieve goals, continuous engagement opportunities through volunteering, group outings and so much more. It is imperative for us, the voluntary sector, to work with local authorities, the statutory sector, collaboratively in order to achieve true successes. Working together allows us to reach more vulnerable young people or young people at risk of committing crime, enabling us to provide great quantity and quality of support for their individual needs.
That’s why it is absolutely vital that the government increase it’s funding for the services which are catering to the needs of it’s young people, offering them support to enhance their quality of life away from crime and unhealthy habits – services such as the youth service, mental health, probation, education, domestic abuse and care services. The voluntary sector equally depend upon support from new and existing major donors and funders in order to preserve, thrive and continue working alongside the local authorities for a greater impact on the lives of young people!
Young people should be at the heart of progression, it is them who is the new generation and steering the direction of the world! Where is it you want to go?
My heart breaks for my loving friend who’s brother we could not save. Please help Naya Anim-Boadu and her family raise money to put together a loving, graceful and deserving send off for her beautiful and only brother, please Donate Here, any donation is warmly appreciated.
Happy 21st Birthday Kwasi – forever love and light.