Pudsey was everywhere on Friday. Away from the fundraising japes and fun, 5 Live once again ran a documentary (as part of Shelagh Fogarty’s show) about a project helped by the charity and the work it did. Last year, it was work to prevent young women being lured into sex trafficking and abuse in Derby; this year, an organisation called Positive Futures (posfutures.org.uk) in Liverpool. If you need any further convincing to donate to Children in Need, do listen to the programme.
Even if you think you know about the sort of lives that lead children into gang culture, there were some gobsmacking details in Helen Skelton’s report. Children as young as eight spoke casually about endemic violence in their areas. “I’ve actually seen someone getting battered,” said one girl. “I was 10 or 11.”
Ben, who left a gang with the charity’s help, said: “You hear about stabbings and shootings every day”. A youth worker recalled talking to a boy dealing drugs on the street to feed his younger siblings, when a man came up and begged. “That was my dad,” the boy said, as the man walked away. The staff didn’t gloss over the challenges or odds against them. But, as one said, in the next 20 years, if he changes just one child’s life, “it’ll be worth it”.
Also the Liverpool Echo covered the story too…
Y Kids were visited by Blue Peter presenter Helen Skelton, who went to the project to speak to local youths affected by the north Liverpool’s drug and gang culture problems as part of a BBC Radio 5 Live documentary.
She also talked to members of Positive Futures North Liverpool, who work with around 500 disadvantaged children and young people.
The project covers some of the most deprived local authority wards. A key area of their work is conflict resolution, which starts in local schools and their own youth centre.
Commenting on the documentary, Helen said: “Talking to the young people at Positive Futures and Y Kids left me covered in goose-bumps.
“Not because of what they had seen but because of the way they spoke about their future and the passion they had for helping others.”
As I said it is well worth a listen as it explores the youth culture in Liverpool and how two organisations are helping young people break the gang culture cycle. It includes some very powerful interviews with young people of Liverpool and the youth workers who are helping them change their way of life.