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Street life: the conversation

30 Mar 2012

Street life: the conversation

Three hundred young people and supporters packed Stratford Circus on 29th March to share the results of nine months activities to prevent gun and knife crime in Newham. An inspirational evening of talented performances, moving films and emotional recollections of the impact of violent crime, saw a host of special guests including BAFTA award winning film maker Mark One, founder of global movement Peace One Day Jeremy Gilley, and West Ham MP Lyn Brown.

Street Life: The conversation was the culmination of almost a year’s work discussing and understanding the impact of gun and knife crime, with young people taking part in activities and events in Community Links’ hubs around the borough. They worked on films, performances, photographs, songs, and even t-shirt designs highlighting the risks of getting involved in gangs and the positive alternatives. Several of the songs were made into superb videos, including the one featured below.



Performances were interspersed with moving recollections from three people who had lost young family members to violent crime. Ray told how his son had been beaten to death by three young people ten years ago. He now spends his time working with young people in schools and young offender’s institutes explaining the devastating impact it can have on families and communities. He recently met one of his son’s killers, who ten years on has come to deeply regret his actions.

Mark One, a Bafta-award winning film maker, lost a family member to gun and knife crime seven years ago, and has spent five years developing a powerful film called After Effects, which was screened at the event. It vividly shows the impact a young person’s death has on the family of the victim and the perpetrator. It will be shown in schools and youth groups around the country.

The event was a huge success, with extremely talented young people showing the enormous potential that exists in the country’s youngest borough. Read our report on the Street Life event.