Press release -Tackling The Issue of Knife Crime Through the Community

For Immediate Release

June 2019

INAUGURAL SERIOUS ABOUT YOUTH! CONFERENCE LAUNCHES YOUTH SUMMIT AND KEY RESOURCE TO TACKLE YOUTH VIOLENCE

The inaugural Serious About Youth! (S.A.Y!) Conference will be taking place at City Gates Conference Centre, London.

It will bring together over 600 young people, community leaders, policy makers, MPs, teachers, parents, youth workers and knife crime organisations to discuss the national youth violence crisis, share best practice and discuss how we work together to find innovative, ongoing solutions to deal with the issues our communities face.

The aim of the conference is to collaborate with individuals and organisations to establish a comprehensive directory of contacts, programmes and resources that will enable communities to quickly identify and access support when needed. The resource will be distributed to schools and community spaces and it will be accessible online.

An exciting and innovative Youth Career and Advice Summit will also take place during the day. Young people will have the opportunity to meet potential employers and the summit will include insightful workshops, networking opportunities, mentoring programmes and a careers fair involving leading blue chip organisations.

Knife crime is at a critical level, particularly in the capital, and S.A.Y! recognises the fantastic work already taking place in this area up and down the country. We want to galvanise into action our young people, communities, decision makers, employers and all those affected by this widespread epidemic and ask them to join us in July to contribute to this pioneering work.

The S.A.Y! Conference will take place on Saturday 6th July 2019 from 8:30am-5:00pm at the City Gates Conference Centre in Ilford. The conference will see a number of leading speakers take to the stage including Rob Harris from Life Linxs, Richard Akerele from East London Connect, Sheldon Thomas from Gangsline, and Gavin McKenna from Reach Every Generation, with many more still to be announced.

Conference organisers Rob Harris and Gavin McKenna, said: β€œ2019 has seen a large rise in youth violence across the country, particularly in London where knife crime has continued to rise with over 20 fatalities in the year to April. Our goal is simple. This is a national call to action to our communities, key decision makers and anyone directly affected by this violence to collaborate and work with us to come up with impactful strategies and solutions to this problem. This is an important space where we can come together to effect positive change.”

For further information and to arrange interviews, please contact:

Tel: 020 3633 6682 | Email: grounded@citygates.london

Background on organisers:
Rob Harris:
Having worked with young people and their families for over 17 years, Rob came to a point in his career where he desired the freedom to have more of an impact in changing and influencing the lives of the people he was encountering daily.
This led him to start LifeLinxs Ltd. Rob is now directing his company in ways that will have a long-term impact for these same families, without the challenge of having to follow a prescribed process of local authority limitations. His vision is to change lives, one young person at a time and, in turn, see them doing the same for others.

Gavin McKenna:
Gavin McKenna, the pioneer behind Reach Every Generation. Gavin has journeyed from gang membership in London to born again Christian, using his past life experiences to set about influencing societal change. The truth of his life, combined with his development professionally, are what make Gavin a valuable asset to your organisation for educational training on gangs.
Armed with first-hand experience of gang culture, Gavin led an outreach team for a gang initiative in London, led by Sheldon Thomas, which took to the streets to engage with local gang members.

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