Change-Makers: Lives Not Knives
For their Keep Doing Good social action project this summer, Aisha, Ayla and Team Unstoppable took to the streets of Croydon to raise awareness about knife crime and youth violence.
“We worked with the charity Lives Not Knives in Croydon, to raise as much awareness as possible to prevent young people from getting involved in gangs and knife crime” said Ayla.
Lives Not Knives is an innovative, award winning, youth-led charity that works to prevent knife crime, serious youth violence and school exclusions by engaging, educating and empowering disadvantaged young people and supporting them to enjoy their lives and improve their future prospects.
“It’s a big issue the country faces, particularly with people in our age group” Aisha added, “we felt more needs to be done, as too many young lives and futures are taken so early.”
So the team set to work finding ways to raise awareness and funds for Lives Not Knives. However, they found the initial process a little difficult. Aisha explains: “We originally planned to have a PS4 tournament, but due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic we couldn’t.” But this didn’t stop them. A little discussion and brian power later, and Team Unstoppable (by name and nature!) decided on something a bit different.
“We set up a GoFundMe page, so we can fundraise as much as possible for the charity.” said Ayla. And to create awareness about this and gain more funds, the team hand painted some signs and leaflets, and set up a bake-sale stall in their local shopping centres to chat with locals who were out and about.
(The young people photographed here are from the same bubble.)
“Raising awareness and getting everyone’s attention on the street wasn’t easy, but we met all kinds of people and it really built my confidence!” said Aisha. Ayla, agreed, saying that their project made her confident “that it’s going to help make a change to the situation in our community.
Team Unstoppable proved their namesake right, smashing their target of a £600 donation for Lives Not Knives. Their hard work and contribution will help Lives Not Knives continue to provide essential mentoring, educational roadshows, a youth hub and summer programmes for the most at-risk young people in their community. Amazing!
WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE WHERE YOU ARE?
Want to carry out some social action in your community but aren’t sure where to start? Why not check out a Local Action Group!
And if you’ve already taken part in a social action project that you’re proud of, let us know! Tell us all about it here.