In September Camden lost 3 young lives in 5 days. In the midst of this tragedy, our Future Changemakers hosted a participatory debate to introduce new ideas and people to each other. Rachel Johnson from Phoenix Court attended and has written about what the event has led to.
I’m Rachel the General Manager of Phoenix Court, a new space located in Somers Town. As a newcomer to the neighbourhood, it’s important to attend events organised by the local community in order to meet people, see new spaces, and learn about the issues going on in the area. I left this particular event that Camden Giving organised at Collective in Camden feeling inspired and part of a community - one that I’m really grateful to be a part of.
What stood out to me most was that young people living in Camden have a voice, and their voices should be listened to and have an affect on the decisions made within their community. It made me sad to hear that witnessing violence or anti-social behaviour is part of their day to day. It’s clear that if there were more places to go (such as youth centres), more opportunities and programmes which help educate young people on the streets and make them aware of different options, this would have more of a positive impact than the ‘‘stop and search’ approach. It’s organisations like Camden Giving and Word On The Curb, that are helping to initiate these kinds of positive changes.
The bringing together of people of all ages, from local organisations and businesses in one room sparks interesting conversations and great connections. For example, I met Albert from Action Youth Boxing Intervention in Somers Town at the event, and he is going to host regular boxing classes to our team at the office. This is a relationship I may not have formed had I not attended this event. As a local business we can continue to support by helping to educate young people about the work we do, making them aware of different opportunities and hiring local apprentices. These connections are really making a positive difference, not just to the young people at the event, but to the wider community in general.