After the riots that took place in Croydon and many other parts of London in early August, I was contacted by a number of young people who were angry about the way in which the media - by talking about "feral teenagers" - effectively demonised a whole generation. They wanted me to help them change this perception.
I have long been concerned about the way in which the media portrays young people and wanted to help so over the last few months I have visited secondary schools, colleges and youth projects around Croydon to see if there were sufficient young people who were interested in meeting up say once a month to do some community work. I would find the necessary funding/equipment and help them publicise their work (and provide references for those who contributed regularly) but they would decide what they wanted to do.
Over a hundred young people have now expressed an interest and the initial meeting is taking place at 11.30am on the 21st January at Croydon Town Hall. The aims of the meeting are to:
a) identify what it is we are going to do - clear up a particular area, create a new facility for young people in a local park, help elderly people with their shopping or gardening, renovate a youth club?; and
b) agree how often and when we are going to meet.
If you're 21 or under and interested in attending (or interested in getting involved but unable to come on the 21st), drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.