If you live in the UK, or (tragically) anywhere these days for that matter, you’ll know that we’ve entered a really scary time where our youths are losing their lives through knife and gun crimes at a rapid and disturbing rate. In London, 65 young people have lost their lives to date in just 5 months. Alarming, isn’t it?

Fact is, our Government likes to talk about the changes that need to be made, and how sorry they are for the losses of these 65 families and friends, but can’t and don’t seem to be doing enough… These same government officials and leaders in authority also no doubt have families of their own… Baffling, isn’t it?

These government officials, I’m sorry to say, seem to be too wrapped up in “Brexit negotiations” to worry about the decline in our youths and the lack of safety on our streets… Arming police officers is bound to have the opposite affect of making our kids feel safe. Instead, our kids are going to feel like they’re having to be on guard from not just their troubled peers, but the people who are meant to be keeping them safe.

Back in February, a night of bloodshed affected multiple young people in Camden, my borough. This was too close to home, which has since put a lot of stuff into perspective. Thankfully, I didn’t know those affected, but a community is a community. We are one.

The government seems to be unable to create the change that we want to see, which is why we need to take initiative and be that change. A family member, a neighbour or a friend of ours doesn’t need to lose their life or know someone who lost a life for us to empathise and to know it’s wrong and to want to do something about it. 

I urge you if you have the time and capacity, to take up helping in your communities. It really is rewarding. Yes, one person can’t change the world. But, together, we can. Collectively. If one person helps someone who helps someone, we can begin to change the world as we know it.

Our leaders aren’t doing what’s expected of them, so we need to do it for them. Not for them, but for us. For our future families. I’m sure you all intend on having children. Well, if so, and even if not, you need to create a safe environment for them. The way we do that is by starting now to make way for when they come along, and protecting those already here.

Honestly, it’s only difficult if not enough people empathise, take it seriously and take action. Everyone can empathise, sure, but there needs to be steps taken. The way we do that is by starting to look closely at our boroughs and councils, attending the MP meetings, surgeries etc. Having a voice. Coming up with new initiatives that motivate our youth and young people around us. Trying to encourage those youth to take up classes, and trying to pursued youth clubs and community centres to run such clubs on a volunteer basis. It can be done. 

It’s a proven fact that the two main reasons young people turn to crime are: boredom and cuts of funding (i.e employment and/or activities). Their families are more often than not of the working class, can’t afford to pay for their activities outside of school. They work long hours to the point where the youth feels alone, is peer pressured into doing the wrong thing and ends up in this really vicious cycle.

There is only one solution. Schools and youth clubs, councils/borough and community centres coming together, and working hard to tackle this issue by enabling each child the chance to take up an extra-curricular activity [outside of school] that will develop their skills, putting them in contact with role models/leaders whilst providing them with the experience needed to go on to gain a career afterwards. It’s really not difficult!

Yes, money and funding is the issue, but there HAS to be enough people qualified in the said task that these kids are wanting to undertake who is willing to provide this to them voluntarily. This is what we need. We need more festivals and activity workshops that unite children. Not to ostracise them.

If you have the option and the opportunity to help, please do so. Volunteering on weekends at youth centres or community centres, working with your council or borough to create fun safe, activities for young people to be involved in that gets them off the streets… Anything is possible. Every little bit helps.

Please, if you’re reading this, try to do something. If just one person reads this and feels motivated to make a change in their small but mighty community, I (and everyone who’s sadly lost someone through these circumstances) will be very grateful.