Waltham Forest College

Waltham Forest College students are being taught how to stay safe and away from youth violence.

The college, which takes pupils as young as 14, has also been promoting the Mayor's London Needs You Alive campaign.

Raising awareness of gangs and youth violence

Waltham Forest College has dedicated a month to raising awareness of gangs and youth violence. A number of timetabled lessons have been replaced with themed workshops to raise awareness on topics such as managing conflict, online safety, healthy relationships and consent. 

As part of the month's activities, the college has run seminars specifically for young people to inform them about the dangers of being groomed by gang members and developing their understanding of the term 'joint enterprise'.

The Metropolitan Police has spoken to staff and shared information on the profile of gangs, local trends, county line drug trafficking and the recruitment of gang members, to help them prevent students getting involved.

Promoting the London Needs You Alive message

Sharing the Mayor's London Needs You Alive message has played an important role in teaching the Waltham Forest College students how to stay safe. 

Part of this work included organising a student conference where teenagers were given up-to-date crime statistics and the chance to debate youth violence. Students were asked to write down their future plans to emphasise the importance of their lives and what impact they will have on London.

Student Union President Terri Stacey-White said of the activity: "I find these workshops really helpful as I plan to use what I learned in my day-to-day life, even after I finish my studies. I am happy that the college recognises concerns by being responsive to what is happening in London - that clearly demonstrates they take student safety seriously."