A brand new resource to tackle gun and knife crime is being launched in Liverpool this week following six months work across Merseyside with offenders, victims’ families, nurses, police officers, youth workers and teachers.
The ‘Y’ Project, managed by the Unity Theatre and funded by Liverpool Citysafe Disarm Partnership, aims to reach young people at risk of involvement with weapons and gang culture.
The ‘Y’ Project website, DVDs and app. will make a series of short and hard hitting audio and visual resources freely available to parents and professionals who work with young people.
Project manager Bev Ayre explained;”We didn’t want this resource just to focus on the negative effects of weapons; we also wanted to capture some of the very positive work that is going on across the city. We hope that by sharing the work of some truly inspirational individuals we can motivate young people and their families to work together to create safe futures free from guns and knives.”
Liverpool City Councillor Peter Brennan, Chair of Citysafe and Mayoral Lead for Community Safety described how he hoped the ‘Y’ Project resources could make a difference; “The process itself has been very impactful as young people have met and listened to Paula Ogungboro’s very personal story or confronted their own behaviour when discussing the topics raised. Now we have this excellent, relevant online resource that we want families to watch with their teenagers, teachers to watch with their classes and youth workers, youth offending workers, housing and community workers, police engagement officers, probation and social workers all to use in the course of their jobs.”
The films include a powerful deterrent from the Royal Liverpool University Hospital delivered by Nurse Clinician Rob Jackson. This film contains some very graphic images of violent injuries and illustrates the potential horrific and often tragic consequences of carrying a knife or gun.
Eugene’s Story, a second film, shows Toxteth mum Paula Ogungboro who has used the tragedy of her son’s murder to create a powerful and moving workshop for teenagers which she delivered for the ‘Y’ Project at youth groups across the city.
The film ‘Life After Prison’ features Alan and John, who have served over 45 years between them. They discuss what motivated them to commit crime and carry weapons, gang allegiances, street culture, the harsh reality of life in prison and their regrets and remorse.
The ‘Y’ Project also filmed at Sid’s Gym in north Liverpool where youth worker Siedu Siadankay talks about the importance of positive role models and how sport can act as an alternative to gang membership. He also talks about the role of families in preventing youth offending and in encouraging healthy, constructive behaviour.