Community leaders gather in Ilford for summit on how to tackle youth violence

Community leaders, experts and police gathered in Ilford to discuss how to tackle youth violence in

Community leaders, experts and police gathered in Ilford to discuss how to tackle youth violence in East London. Picture: Redbridge Council - Credit: Archant

Community leaders, experts and the police gathered together in Ilford last week for a major summit on how to tackle youth violence in east London.

More than 150 attended the event hosted by Redbridge Council at the Coliseum Suite on Thursday, May 16.

It is the second in a series of summits being organised by Redbridge, Havering and Barking and Dagenham councils.

The event focused on ways to end the rising levels of youth violence and improve the lives of children, teenagers and young adults.

Key speakers led conversations about what national and regional support is available for schools and organisations and the new public health approach which will see all agencies working together to help young people out of crime.

Also in attendance were teachers, social workers and the youth offending officers to discuss ways to tackle the complex root causes of violent crime among young people and importance of early intervention.

Stephen Addison MBE, founder of Box Up Crime, closed the conference with a presentation about the importance of making real and lasting change to the young people living in East London.

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Box Up Crime is a social organisation that helps deter young people from getting involved in crime and gangs by offering a mixture of boxing training, educational training and mentoring.

Redbridge Council has successfully bid for half a million pounds to go towards a partnership with Box Up to help turnaround the lives of young people who have been involved in crime.

Mr Addison said: "This event is so important as it brings together all those that represent young people and can make a real difference to their lives.

"Box Up Crime exists so young people who find themselves on the wrong path don't have to go through it alone and can get the support and help they need to get off it.

"We're excited to be working with Redbridge Council to make boxing accessible for young people all over the borough from different walks of life. I've seen first-hand how this has turned lives around for the better."

Redbridge Council funds Box Up to deliver free sessions for young people on a Tuesday night in Hainault Youth Centre and a Thursday night in City Gates Church for 13-19 year olds from 7pm to 8.30pm.