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  • Alright, I'm here with Matthew Barber at the Urban Hope You Center right here in Islington.

  • We just had an incredible conversation about some of the issues you're struggling with and maybe we can talk a little bit about that.

  • I know that a lot of the kids now are coming back to your youth center, but you're struggling with their trauma and anxiety that they're dealing with with, like re socializing.

  • So maybe talk about that and some of the other things that you're dealing with here as a youth worker.

  • Yeah, so I think over the last year, I mean, we've all experienced trauma and as adults, we learn how to cope, but young people haven't had um the life experience that gives them something to fall back on or how to cope or what is the best way to deal with stress.

  • And we're seeing, you know, young people have been on social media for so long that that's how they talk to each other and that's how they communicate when they're in person and we need a filter and sometimes they don't have it.

  • So we're trying to support young people back into, I see building social friendships again and learning how to communicate.

  • Uh, and it's tough but it's tough growing up in London and it's tough being a young person.

  • Education is stressful at the moment and you know, they're fearful of what is going to happen if it stops again and what does the future look like.

  • Um, and we're just trying to give a place of hope where young people can see that there is a future and it's a good and bright future for them.

  • Yeah, what shocks me and disturbs me a bit is that I've met incredible people like Matthew, I've met people down in Croydon and the Wally Foster Center at home martin.

  • These are people that are giving so much of their own time and own energy barely funded to get out there and try to give these youth other alternatives as opposed to gang life or crime life or just ways where they can get over their trauma and anxiety and yet they're they're being squeezed.

  • They don't seem to be given these resources to do it.

  • I mean we were talking earlier about my corporate for communities program, I mean £100 million in the 250 community centers.

  • I said Matthew could you use £400,000 in his eyes like lit up and he's like, wow.

  • I mean I guess you could because you can employ more people, you could do this kickstart program.

  • What would you do with funding like that if you could get it?

  • Well, I mean keep us open for a couple of years at least without having to worry about applying for funding after funding after funding, but also the more youth workers that we've got, the more young people that we can help.

  • And if we can start using kickstart an employee young person, not for six months for a year, for two years to go, actually we want to invest in you, we want to build a future for you.

  • Well, that would be amazing.

  • They really would, Yeah.

  • And he's talking about also people that have come through this organization then becoming some of the mentors of this organization.

  • And it must be an incredible thing is that they could literally say to the young kids, I used to be you and I live around here and I've now seen that there's other paths and um, it just kind of kills me That I think in the last five years and the current mayor, we've closed down over 100 youth centers And everyone complains about knife crime and we should because there's one every 2-3 days.

  • It's, it's shocking.

  • But I had a talk with a senior metropolitan police officer and he said, Brian, you can't police your way out of knife crime.

  • What he was saying is we can put more officers on the street and we can go against the gangs.

  • But if you don't give them options in the youth centers, if you don't give them ways of dealing with stress and anxiety or showing the mentorship or apprenticeships, then then of course they're going to choose that option, right?

  • Yeah.

  • And I think so often with knife crime, we've reacted Rather than on what's the root of the problem?

  • And let's start, let's start young, let's work with young people in primary school and give them an adult that can work all the way through to their 18, 19 plus and be a support and go I believe in you from an early age, not older gang members are going to come with me.

  • I see something especially new, it's other adults going, I see something especially new and I think we can support and we can get help you realize the future that you want for yourself.

  • Yeah, this is so important.

  • I I mentored a nine year old kid about 12, 13 years ago in in Hamilton.

  • And I remember when they gave me his details, I said he's nine.

  • I said isn't that too young?

  • And they said no, that's actually too old.

  • I was like what?

  • And I didn't realize that these habits start to get ingrained 567 years old.

  • And I heard the same thing from Eliza at the lives, not knives charity in Croydon.

  • They said we want to go into primary schools, not just the secondary schools.

  • That's where we can do maybe more effective long term work.

  • That message doesn't seem to be received by government or again there's no funds to do it anyways.

  • But that's an important part of this, right?

  • Yeah.

  • I think the younger that we can work with a child the better um Yeah I think we're seeing young people who've come from primary school into secondary behaviors ingrained.

  • It's so hard to unlearn once you've learned something It takes a lot longer to one learning.

  • So if they're learning the negative things at an early age it's in built its habitual.

  • So how do we get at the root of it at the start and go let's build some positive patterns and some positive feelings and everything else first rather than all the negative.

  • Yeah.

  • yeah.

  • So important.

  • It's so important.

  • And this work can only be done by people who actually care, I can feel is about this gentleman here.

  • I mean like your heart and soul has to go in this.

  • Like you were saying, if you bring, you know energy into the space with the youths, they're gonna feel it if you're not passionate, if you're not open and you're gonna be tested on a regular basis to make sure that you're legit.

  • And um, this is hard work that's being done on these communities.

  • I did it for a year, every weekend and it was hard, but it was also one of the most rewarding things I ever did.

  • Um, and again, we can't keep complaining about crime on the streets if we're not willing to put in long term solutions, which means cash, it's about the money because the money expresses priorities.

  • And again, the government, the mayor's budget is always being squeezed.

  • So I think we can go to these corpora, it's and get a massive injection of cash, get some great structure, support people doing this great work and in the long term will create an incredible generation of youth, an incredible city.

  • Um, and add that with even more policing to help at least lockdown on these gangs.

  • We actually have a plan right now, we seem to be bumping along with no coherent solution.

  • And again, how can we be de funding these youth centers or we fund them when it's popular, when funding when there's a riot or when they, you seem to be in crisis and then it dwindles.

  • Um, again, something kind of frustrating in government that I don't see in business very much, but in government it kind of goes there.

  • So, again, urban hope charity here in Islington, Matthews, the guy, um, uh, check out the website if you want to know how to help as well.

  • I'm guessing funding is always really good volunteers are really good.

  • Yeah.

  • Right.

  • Yeah.

  • The more people we can have volunteering and showing different aspects of life and that what you can achieve from anything really.

  • I'm, yeah, I'm only one man, but we need more to just stand alongside and support young people and believe in them.

  • Yeah, So true.

  • I just want to finally say I've met so many people like Matthew when I've gone through every single borough in London, these are real Londoners who care and work tirelessly every day to try to make the city better.

  • And I couldn't be more proud to feature them on these videos and to talk to them.

  • And it just makes me really positive about this city.

  • A lot of times we hear about, we turn on the Internet, we see people fighting and people saying you're bad, you're bad.

  • I mean, I see in Londoners, great people who want the best thing for their future and their Children, you got to get them all together and go the same direction.

  • That's the plan.

  • So thank you Matthew, appreciate what you do.

  • Check this man out.

  • Let's do this.

  • Let's move forward.

  • Let's fund our youth center is the only way out of this.

  • All right, Thank you.

Alright, I'm here with Matthew Barber at the Urban Hope You Center right here in Islington.

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LONDON YOUTH NEEDS MORE SUPPORT FROM OUR MAYOR TO DEAL WITH TRAUMA, STRESS & ANXIETY - MORE ACTION!!

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/04/30
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