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Barking football tournament raises awareness

PUBLISHED: 15:00 15 August 2019

Barking's Hedgecock Community Centre held a 'United Against Knife Crime' football tournament in partnership with Barking Youth Link at Barking Abbey School (pic Emdad Rahman)

Barking's Hedgecock Community Centre held a 'United Against Knife Crime' football tournament in partnership with Barking Youth Link at Barking Abbey School (pic Emdad Rahman)

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Barking's Hedgecock Community Centre and Barking Youth Link hosted a successful 'United Against Knife Crime' football tournament at Barking Abbey School, writes Emdad Rahman.

The event was held to raise awareness of knife crime and various youth services available within the borough, to inspire young people to aspire in life and build social cohesion to avert tensions.

During short talks, the participants were given alternative avenues they could use to explore and talk about concerns in safety and even anonymously if they felt the need.

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And the event proved a huge success as youngsters from various backgrounds, ages, races and ethnicities joined forces to showcase their footballing talent.

Community leaders, including couuncillors, the Safer Neighbourhood team, Fearless.org, Future Youth Zone and residents attended, with teams from Future Youth Zone and Eastbury Community Association coming out on top in two age groups.

Yusuf Khan, chair of the Hedgecock Community Centre, said: "As Londoners we are currently witnessing a huge problem that is affecting young people today, many from disadvantaged backgrounds, who resort to solve their differences over the most trivial matters through violence and the carrying of knives.

"This has resulted in precious young lives being tragically lost. As a community we support our law enforcement services fully and at the same time we have taken it upon ourselves to educate the community. This has been a great example of how to raise awareness."

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