Safer London is a London charity helping young people in London live a life free from gang violence, exploitation and crime.
Working in partnership with Local Authorities, with a staff of over 70 and a team of volunteers, the charity has been able to help over 65,000 people since its launch in 2005. The young people it helps are primarily in the age range 16-24 but with some as young as 11 receiving help. The support given includes helping young people ‘exit’ a gang life, changing their attitudes towards each other, empowering them to talk about their experiences and providing long term ongoing support.
John Moore and Katie Mitchell from Safer London explain “Many of the young people are at risk of violence, criminal and sexual exploitation. The support we give lasts on average six months and each one of them is assigned a specialist to help with their specific needs. The support also includes helping with their education and safe housing. Much of the financial support comes for specific activities and these funds cannot be used for any other purpose, so the £5,000 donation from London Freemasons is particularly valuable to us as it is ‘unrestricted’ meaning we can use it for whatever our most pressing needs are. For example, this donation could support a project for 20 young people a month.”
Safer London Also provide help and training to parents, families, mentors and carers, giving them the skills to deal with young peoples’ problems. The young people themselves are participants in decisions that are made about the help they are given.
Katy Mitchel finds that “it is very rewarding to be able to help the young people overcome their vulnerabilities and have a more stable, predictable and safe life.”
Tony Shields, Metropolitan Grand Lodge Charity Steward commented “The threat from gang violence to London’s young people is a pressing issue, so we’re proud to support Safer London’s valuable work helping London’s young people exit gang life. This is another example of Freemasons supporting the London community. This donation follows on from a £1,250,000 donation, of a £2.5 million funding pledge from London Freemasons to London Fire Brigade. The funding will provide London Fire Brigade with two extended height aerial vehicles.”