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Project tackling rowdy Somali youths wins praise

PUBLISHED: 07:30 14 November 2010

Left to right: Islington Somali Community's Abdulaziz Ali and Yussuf Ahmed with leader of Islington Council Catherine West, Mayor of Islington Mouna Hamitouche, Voluntary Action in Islington chairman Andrew Murphy,  and Reverend Pete Bellinger of St Mark's Church.

Left to right: Islington Somali Community's Abdulaziz Ali and Yussuf Ahmed with leader of Islington Council Catherine West, Mayor of Islington Mouna Hamitouche, Voluntary Action in Islington chairman Andrew Murphy, and Reverend Pete Bellinger of St Mark's Church.

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A PROJECT tackling anti-social behaviour and crime among young Somalis in Finsbury Park has scooped an award.

The scheme, a collaboration between a Somali group, Islington police and St Mark’s Church in Moray Road, Finsbury Park, was set up to deal with large groups of Somali youths roaming the streets.

Abdul Ali, a youth worker from the Islington Somali Community, said: “By going out to talk to some of the young Somalis on the Andover, Six Acres and Harvist Estates, we discovered some of the reasons behind the anti-social behaviour.

“We found out that many were struggling at school or had problems at home. They told us that some of their parents had poor English, and couldn’t help them with their homework. So we set up a homework club for them. We also ran workshops to tackle problems like substance misuse and to prevent religious extremism and gangs. I’m delighted the partnership has been recognised at these awards.”

Sergeant Chris Walsh, of the Finsbury Park Safer Neighbourhood Team, added: “Local residents have told me the estates are very much more peaceful and people don’t feel intimidated or threatened going to or from their homes.”

The scheme was one of several winners at the Islington Compact Awards, which were set up to recognise outstanding partnership work between community organisations and statutory bodies such as Islington Council and the police.

Councillor Catherine West, leader of Islington Council, said: “We have ambitious plans to make Islington a safer and fairer place. Close working with Islington’s voluntary and community sector is a vital part of this. These awards show how much we can achieve together.”


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