RTK’s PRU Project

At our last meeting, we gave time, first of all, to remember the life of Tyler Roye, who died through knife crime in February 2020, and then to hear from a number of the people who helped deliver RTK’s project in our local Pupil Referral Unit.

It was a privilege to have some of Tyler’s family join us as we celebrated his life and reflected on the impact of knife crime.

After this, we learned about heard RTK’s most recent project, over three days (two in March and one in June), speaking to eleven students (from years 8, 9 and 10) at Francis Barber Pupil Referral Unit. We are really grateful to Lydia from Narrative Empowerment Project, Tilisha and Denise from JFJ Foundation, and Quinton from MMAP Workshops, who each presented their own experience as survivors of, or bereavement through, knife crime and gave time for the students to respond and reflect.

We gave options for different creative responses over the three days – resulting in two t-shirt designs, seven students using clay, three pictures and six pieces of written work (including diary entries, letters to their younger self and spoken word). Students shared their own experiences; they were moved by the stories and the quality of their written work showed a deep engagement with the subject. A number of the students were able to take their responses into future work with mentors and others.

The head teacher described our project as one of the most impactful projects that the students had participated in this year. We are grateful to the Wandsworth Knife Crime Forum who provided the funds for this project.

Before the end of our meeting, Val shared a quote from Desmond Tutu – “There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in.” The quote speaks directly into Val’s passion, personally and for RTK, to work tirelessly, passionately and effectively, through campaigning and projects, to intervene earlier in the lives of young people, so that the most vulnerable are nurtured and protected.

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