The Social Inclusion Team has recently been working with an external organisation to help our young customers address issues that are important to them.
Fixers is a national charity that works with young people across the UK to help them to take action and tackle issues they feel strongly about. Following a successful application for funding from Maisie Sheed, Anne-Maree Purnell was able to get them involved with some young people in Hampshire to help address social injustice.
Stuart, one of our young customers from the Old Bakery in New Milton, had previously got in touch with Anne-Maree as he wanted to make a film about knife crime and help prevent young people falling into a life of crime.
So, when the funding was agreed Stuart teamed up with Fixers to get his project realised.
Each Fixer is supported to create the resources they need to make their chosen project a success, with creative help from media professionals to create their own promotional material, such as films, websites or print work.
All too aware of the consequences of careless acts of violence, Stuart is urging young people to recognise the consequences of careless acts of violence and ‘choose life, not knife’.
He said: “I know people that have been killed as a result of careless acts of violence. Even if someone has no intention of using a knife, just being in possession of it can result in a prison sentence. I think people carry knives for all sorts of reasons – some think it’s cool or they see it happening in films or games.”
Stuart’s film was launched at a screening event on 14 March at the Brookside Office in Southampton. He is hoping that the film will help deter others from carrying weapons; “I hope a lot more people will see the film. I will be showing it to organisations including the local probation service and youth offending team.
“Hopefully it will stop at least one young person from picking up a knife. I want to get across the message – don’t carry knives. It isn’t cool.”
Tracey Thompson, Family Mosaic’s Social Inclusion Manager, said: “Projects like Stuart’s help us to understand issues which are important to young people today. Our innovative partnership with Fixers offers exciting opportunities for our young customers in Hampshire to have a voice. It also means they are learning new skills and building important relationships with their peers and policy makers.”
Fixers has already supported more than 11,000 young people across the UK who have campaigned on issues as diverse as cyber-bullying, self-harm, suicide and the need for more random acts of kindness.
Ann-Maree is aiming to extend the project to services in Brighton and Gravesend so that other young people we work with will want to start their own Fix and commence on a journey of self discovery.
To see the film, go to: http://www.fixers.org.uk/news/9115-11208/life-not-knife.php