Islington Council announces charities to help ‘tomorrow’s gang members take alternative path’

Cllr Joe Caluori, Islington executive member for children and young people

Cllr Joe Caluori, Islington executive member for children and young people - Credit: Archant

Islington Council has commissioned two specialist charities to tackle youth violence.

In February, the council pledged an extra £500,000 a year, for the next four years, aimed to help young people in Islington most at risk of becoming involved in gangs and crime - as well as support those already entrenched in the lifestyle.

Its commitment came in response to the killings of teenagers Alan Cartwright, Stefan Appleton and Vaso Kakko last year.

Today, it announced the money will go to Chance UK, which specialises in one-to-one interventions with primary school children most at risk of exclusion or exploitation by gangs.

In addition, the St Giles Trust will also be able to expand its work into Islington. The trust uses specially trained ex-offenders to inform young people about the impact gangs can have on their lives.

Cllr Joe Caluori, Islington’s executive member for children and young people, said: “Gang crime and serious youth violence is not only very damaging for those involved, but also harms their families and our wider society.

“To stop this requires a two-pronged approach. These projects and independent experts will help us direct significant efforts at encouraging tomorrow’s gang members to take an alternative path and turn their backs on crime, while also helping those already mired in that harmful lifestyle to get out.”

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Moaad, aged 10, has already been mentored by Chance UK in Islington. He said: “It has made a big difference. Before I had a mentor I was pretty shy, my relatives were my only friends.

“My mentor has introduced me to new things, which has helped me to be more confident in new situations when I talk to people. I am proud of Chance UK for helping other people.”