Who we support

The figures for unemployed young people in the 16-24 age group makes for alarming reading. According to James Mirza-Davies of Economic Policy, most of these young people (who are defined as NEET - Not in Education, Employment or Training) have low self-esteem, no qualifications and lack the necessary skills to sustain being employed.

Many have been bullied or experienced a negative attitude from schools who make no allowance for disadvantaged backgrounds. As a result many rebel or lose confidence and experience a lack of purpose in life. At the same time, many are trapped in a destructive circle of gang culture, violence, mental health problems and drug and alcohol addiction. A toxic combination that prevents them from building any kind of positive future.

The picture is not improved by figures from the 2015 Ditch The Label report. This suggests that 74% of those bullied have also been physically attacked, 17% have been sexually assaulted and 62% have been cyber bullied. As a result of bullying, 29% self-harmed, 14% developed eating disorders and 12% ran away from home. Furthermore, 98% of those bullied were bullied by people living on their own estate.

It is just such young people living on inner London’s toughest estates that we support. 

Taylor's story

“I am 20 years of age and have lived on the Somerleyton Estate all my life. Growing up on the estate I have seen people get stabbed, robbed, drug deals and all the other criminal activities you would see on an estate.

Like others on the estate I was bullied from a young age by the gangs. This has had a dramatic impact on me as I grew up. I didn’t have the confidence to mix with people and found school very difficult until I dropped out.

Living on Somerleyton estate I have also encountered problems with the police, and problems with other boys on the street who have been trying to trouble me due to the estate I’m from. It's very hard for a young black boy like myself growing up in Brixton to do anything, especially when you have been arrested before or been to prison for whatever reason. To stay out of the police way becomes a very difficult thing to do because they know your face or the friends you hang with but you see for me I am trying to put all of that behind me and look forward to my future.

Growing up on the estate has also helped me see things clearer it has made me understand not everyone wants you to succeed in life. I believe I have been getting into trouble for too long and now want a change. I want to move off the estate and start a new life where I can support myself, and where I am not known by the police or any gangs”.