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Early prevention groups and mental health awareness for children are being disparaged by the local communities.

 

As the growing dangers for street knife crime continues on the streets in South London the act for early prevention crime groups still comes to a halt which is leading to the worrying increase of children’s mental health. 

 

This week the announcement that the Rio Ferdinand Foundation and the Aspire Academy would form a partnership with the aim to combine early crime prevention and mental health is for the children of South London. 

 

The Aspire Academy focuses on young boys to try and educate them in football whilst also allowing them to gain the qualifications they need to move further with their lives. 

 

The Public Health Model was set up to help children ages 5-12 who have been traumatised by violence, not just street crime but also domestic violence that happens within their own homes. 

 

They’re combatting this problem by putting in social workers into schools to help notice the children who are struggling and offering support to tackle the problem. 

 

Since the start up of the model in Strathclyde, Scotland where murder rates were the second largest in Europe, murder rates  have decreased by 39% over the 10 year span of implimating the Public Health Model. 

 

As fear installs a sense of anxiety and if someone feels at risk or unsafe then they are more likely to carry something like a knife in order to protect themselves. A vicious circle that is hard to penetrate and ultimately stop. 

 

Nyeran Clunis, local footballer at Dulwich Hamlet football club, started his career through the Aspire Academy at the age of 14. From the same Peckham estate as Ferdinand and Aspire Academy’s founder Gavin Rose, Nyran used the Academy to find his path whilst also getting an education. He is now a successful footballer at the club and is grateful for the opportunity that he was able to have whilst being in the Academy and believes that without the Academy’s help, he would have never been able to grow as a person. 

 

Many businesses and funders believe that there “needs to be a problem to fix” rather than teaching them from a young age opportunities and paths they could aspire towards. 

 

As fitting as it may seem the press conference took place within mental health awareness week which reinforces the idea of how children’s mental health can stop their motivation for wanting them to find the opportunities and a path to focus on.

 

The academy and foundation will struggle without the help of businesses getting involved who can help offer jobs for the young adults within the programme. Ferdinand said “Local businesses need to take responsibility” for making young people aware of the opportunities that are available for after they leave school. 

 

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