On Thursday 3 February via Zoom, we heard about a couple of projects that contribute to equipping children and young people for the challenges they face as they increase in independence. Dawn Gibbons, a local magistrate talked about her brand new project for primary schools, and JAGS Foundation explained their girls’ project.
Our meeting began by remembering the 30 teenagers murdered in London in 2021, lighting a candle for each one, as well as remembering, in our silence, the many deaths of 2021 to serious crime across London and beyond.
After this, Dawn Gibbons, showed us her presentation about knife crime that she has just piloted in a local Wandsworth Primary School. She is passionate about helping children understand the reality and impact of carrying knives, and about giving accurate, helpful information within schools so that children are ready for secondary school, and with a knowledge that helps them keep safe. She plans to roll out her programme across the magistrate network.
Nishan, on behalf of JAGS Foundation, will begin their girls’ project in Battersea in March. Based at the Katherine Low Settlement Centre, they will provide workshops, mentoring and support to enable girls, aged 10-14 years to identify and respond to the issues that affect them. Mental wellbeing, affected for many young people due to wide-ranging impact of Covid is likely to be a big topic.
It was the 15th anniversary of Andre Smartt-Ford’s death, who is the inspiration for JAGS Foundation, so we were honoured to be able to welcome them and to remember Andre on this day.