A campaign, raising awareness of gang culture, won a group of local young people an award as part of a National Citizenship Scheme.
Their rap-style video caught the attention of Epping Forest District Council’s Safer Communities team who agreed to help fund their poster and banner campaign bearing the message – Gangs won’t have Immunity if we act as a Community.
The group of mainly Epping Forest young residents took part in the four-week summer holiday programme aimed at building life skills, confidence and awareness.
The 13-strong group of boys and girls aged between 15 and 17 joined others from across the country in a two-week residential programme involving outdoor activities and workshops around things such as healthy relationships, resilience and the importance of voting and building opinions.
In the third and fourth weeks they worked on their gang culture project, organizing a quiz night and cake bake to help fund it. The banners and posters can be seen around the district including schools, an underground station, our Civic Offices in Epping and a boxing club.
The group visited the Civic Offices to thank vice chairman Helen Kane and the safer communities team for supporting their project.
Spokeswoman Checardi Pirincci from North Weald said the group felt it was important to educate young people that it is not OK to carry knives and to get sucked into gang culture.
PC Steve Bowering from our safer communities team told the group how to report crime anonymously through Fearless – a Crime Stoppers service for young people – and how the three police officers funded by Epping Forest District Council work with communities across the district.
Councillor Kane congratulated the group on its excellent project, saying how good it was to see young people working together on a project they were so obviously passionate about.
Essex youth worker and group leader David Mirzai explained that NCS is a government run programme, operated in Essex by the youth service.
He praised the group saying they were enthusiastic and determined about getting their message out there.
The group agreed that the friendships forged during the programme would mean they all stay in touch in the future.