Mayor backs campaign to bring peace to the capital’s streets

14 June 2012

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson, today joined forces with two mothers whose sons were tragically murdered, to help steer young people away from youth violence and crime.

Margaret Mizen and Grace Idowu have come together to launch 100 Days of Peaceful Events, aimed at making London’s streets safer for all young people. Working in partnership with the Kids Company, London Citizens and a collection of charity groups, the campaign Youth United seeks to support young Londoners in schools, pupil referral units and young offenders so that they develop self esteem, discipline and to help make positive life choices.

The initiative is backed by the Mayor, who has made tackling crime and promoting youth opportunities a priority during his time in office. Through his Team London volunteering programme, 26 projects across London aimed at tackling anti-social behaviour, reducing crime and increasing opportunities for youngsters have been awarded grants of up to £10,000. The funding has helped to boost volunteering numbers on average by 50 people per project.

Boris Johnson will meet with youngsters at Coopers Lane Primary School in Lewisham as part of the 100 Days of Peace initiative and will be the first person sign the ‘Peace Car’ which is a symbol of piece as it travels through London this summer.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: ‘ It’s a modern day tragedy that so many of our young people are struggling in this city. Often ill equipped to get a foothold in the jobs market, it is our duty to ensure that they have the necessary life skills to help deter them from falling into a cycle of crime.

‘That is why improving our schools, apprenticeships, training and initiatives like the 100 Days of Peaceful Events are so important in helping to prepare young Londoners for a more positive future.’

Margaret Mizen said: ‘If young people feel that they have a stake in their local community they will feel connected to it. If we are to make our city safer for our children, they need to be apart of the conversation. Speaking to them about our experiences and hearing theirs is incredibly valuable’

Grace Idowu added : ‘We have shed too many tears over the young people who have lost their way. With the right guidance and opportunities, I hope we can help to steer them away from crime and towards hope and peace.’

Last year four out of ten young Londoners left school without achieving 5 A*- C GCSEs (including English and Maths) what is often seen as the minimum level of attainment for entry to employment and further education. The Mayor of London is currently reviewing what can be done to tackle academic underachievement and to prepare the capital’s youngsters for the globally competitive jobs market.

100 Days of Peaceful Events will run throughout the summer and is inspired by the truce that which was installed before and after the ancient Olympic Games, to enable athletes to compete in a safe environment. The 100 days will culminate in a concert for a 1000 young people at the 02 Indigo to highlight ‘Release the Peace.’

Notes to editors

  • The Jimmy Mizen Foundation was established as a positive way of remembering the life of Jimmy Mizen who was tragically murdered in May 2008. Its mission is to make young people safer; it promotes participation within the community, increases young people’s awareness of the potential outcomes of their actions and supports youth development into independent and responsible individuals. Barry and Margaret Mizen met with the Mayor at City Hall on 22 May 2012 to discuss the “100 Days of Peaceful Events” launch.
  • The Mayor is working on a range of projects to boost young people’s education and accomplishments including an education Inquiry, opening three Mayoral academies, plans for a supplementary schools programme, mentoring disadvantaged young people and expanding apprenticeships. For more information on what the Mayor is doing to raise aspirations and improve opportunities for young Londoners go to www.london.gov.uk/priorities/young-people.
  • The independent Chair and Panel Members of the Mayor’s Education Inquiry are: Dr Tony Sewell –Chair of the Education Inquiry, Barbara Harrison, Dennis Hayes, Joan Deslandes, Anthony Little, Greg Martin, Erica Pienaar and Laraine Smith OBE, along with Frankie Sulke, who was put forward by the Association of London Directors of Children’s Services, supported by Robert McCulloch-Graham.
  • For more information on what the Mayor is doing to raise aspirations and improve opportunities for young Londoners go to www.london.gov.uk/priorities/young-people
  • Team London is the Mayor’s ambitious programme to mobilise an army of volunteers to help improve the quality of life for excluded and disadvantaged Londoners, helping to equip youngsters with the necessary training and skills to compete in the jobs market and green and clean the city. Since 2008, the Mayor's programmes have galvanised tens of thousands of Londoners into action and is delivering projects which are tackling some of the key issues facing the city such as crime, illiteracy, obesity, social exclusion of older people, skills training and mentors for young people. The 26 Team London Small grants projects to tackle anti social behaviour and crime prevention recruited almost 1300 volunteers. Please visit www.london.gov.uk/teamlondon for more information, to find and post volunteering opportunities.

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