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23 July, 2008

Young People from Tottenham Value Life

With so many stories in the media reflecting an apparent growth in gun and knife crime, one group of young people are determined to prove they can create a positive change in their communities through active citizenship.

Youth Act Value Life rally 2008On Tuesday 22nd July the Value Life group at Gladesmore Community School in Tottenham organised their fifth annual protest march around the London Borough of Haringey with four other schools in the area.

The day started with a festival at the school where David Lammy MP, the Minister for Skills and MP for Haringey spoke to students from all four schools. The students and their teachers then piled into 10 open-top London buses and were taken to Ducketts Common to the chants of: "No more knives, save our lives!" The main march started at Ducketts Common involving over 1,000 students and 500 members of the local community accompanied by a steel band.

The Value Life group at Gladesmore was formed in 2004 go after a group of Year 8 students took part in the Citizenship Foundation's Youth Act training programme. The programme equipped them with the skills to build an effective campaign initially against gun crime and latterly against knife crime and to start engendering social and political change. The fact that the Value Life campaign has grown to incorporate other Haringey schools is a testament to the strength of the project and to the passion and dedication of each new generation of students. The group is committed to campaigning and hold the annual protest march until this persistent issue in London is addressed.

As Reverend Nims Obunge, Chief Executive of the Peace Alliance said addressing the assembled students, teachers and supporters: "It is so important that we step on the streets- as we are doing today - and get our message to the community, that in Haringey we value the lives of our young people. We will fight for the future of our community. Let us stand united and Value Life."

If you are interested in Youth Act training to start your own campaign please contact Ade Sofola on 020 7566 5033.

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