organisations are coming together this week to say 'ENOUGH! Make Youth Violence History'.
The recent gun and knife crime has spurred community organisations to take new action to engage the community in ending youth violence.
On Thursday this week, the ENOUGH! campaign, made up of organisations from Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark, will launch an appeal for hundreds of Londoners to form a new 'volunteer army' to reinforce and extend the work of London's existing community organisations working with young people.
The ENOUGH! campaign will be formally launched this Thursday evening at the Royal Festival Hall. It is a campaign driven and inspired by young people, and friends and families of victims. It aims to:
• Bolster support for existing community organisations
• Inspire new volunteers to work to end youth violence
• Secure funding from central and local government, charities, companies and individuals
• Keep the danger of youth violence on the agenda and promote positive images of young people
Richard Taylor, father of 10-year-old Damilola Taylor who was tragically killed in November 2000, said: "I have suffered great personal loss and know the devastation that knives can do to young lives full of promise. My beautiful young son Damilola was killed in an unprovoked attack and the life of me and my family has been devastated by this experience. No family should suffer this terrible devastation. That is why I support the ENOUGH! campaign as a way to address the root causes of why many young people are falling into a life and culture of violence."
Simon Hughes MP, who is supporting the campaign, said: "We must tackle gun and knife crime by building up grassroots organisations. Many effective organisations already exist. They are doing fantastic work with young people. To tackle youth violence we must not spend time reinventing the wheel, but unleash the potential of good organisations which already exist. They in turn can unlock the talents of London's young people and lead them away from violent lives, and too often, violent deaths."
One of the first acts of the ENOUGH! campaign is to call on central government to release funding for local voluntary organisations. The Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Bill which is currently going through parliament offers the possibility of 80 million or more being released to youth organisations. The ENOUGH! campaign believes it vital that these funds are targeted at the gangs of blades and bullets.
Any organisations and individuals which share the objectives of the ENOUGH! campaign are invited to join representatives from community groups from across South London at the Royal Festival Hall for the launch.
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