Comment from Haseena and Michele: We read with sadness that knife crime has caused the death of a third young person in Birmingham in as many weeks (‘Small Heath Teenager that was stabbed to death is named Abdullah Muhammad’).
The impact that violent crime has on affected families and their local communities is vast. It is only by working together that we can hope to prevent further tragedies, putting positive solutions in place to guide young people away from situations where they may be at risk of either committing or of becoming a victim of violent crime.
Worryingly, our own recent research has shown that young people in Birmingham feel dangerously disconnected from their community; over a third (38%) believe that people in their community don’t care about them and over half (54%) do not believe they have role models in their community. It’s down to us all to prove them wrong.
We know that there are people working all across Birmingham to pull young people who may be at risk back from the brink and get them onto a better path. They come from all sectors and all walks of life – some are mentors working in schools and prisons, as part of our Mosaic programme, which works with young people in the areas highlighted in your piece, some are emergency services officers or youth workers running courses for young people, some are business leaders who create jobs that give them their first step onto the career ladder. The list goes on.
At The Prince’s Trust, we are proud to be part of this support network for local young people, and work collaboratively with partners across Birmingham and beyond to help those who may be facing challenges.
For us, the key to turning the tide on this issue is listening to young people themselves, showing them that there are opportunities for them out there which enable them to make good choices in life. By working with them to ensure they feel supported, and together with the wider community, we can set them on a path towards a brighter future. Please contact The Prince’s Trust if you know a young person we can help or if you’d like to join our team of volunteers at www.princes-trust.org.uk