IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Young Mayor’s message to heads: ‘Schools should work together to tackle knife crime’

26 April, 2019 — By Helen Chapman

Young Mayor Lydia Banjo flanked by youth councillors Jackie Appiah-Kubi, 17, and Arkan Aqiil, 15

ISLINGTON’S Young Mayor has called on schools to work together when tackling knife crime.

Lydia Banjo, 16, spoke to the Tribune at the launch for the Journey to Justice exhibition last week about the changes she wants to see in the borough.

Lydia, who was elected as Young Mayor by her youth councillors in February, said: “Instead of talking about it, I want to see politicians actually going out and doing something to change it – what steps are we actually doing to prevent it?

“Schools know what the issues are but don’t want to address it in their school. I want to make it clearer to headteachers they need to work together whereas currently they’re working separately.”

Tricia Zipfel, who lives in Finsbury Park, features in the exhibition, telling her story of when she first moved to Islington after graduating from university.

She said: “We set about working with local families who were living in the most unimaginable conditions in Barnsbury. We organised playgroups and grew together as a group of local mums, including Jean Willson, who now runs Centre 404 on Camden Road.”

In 1969 Martin Luther King’s children came to visit one of the playgroups set up in Lough Road.

Ms Zipfel added: “It was an initiative that really empowered the ordinary people of Islington to go on and set up other things. It is never individuals that make change happen, it is always teams. Hopefully this exhibition will inspire all of us to keep battling away.”

Carrie Supple, director of Journey to Justice, said: “We want to show that change is possible and ordinary people have the power to make a difference.

“It is a universal message. We want to tap into people and inspire people. The essence of it is about coming together in solidarity with a voice and showing the collective way people make a difference.”

The exhibition is at Resource for London, 356 Holloway Road, N7 6PA and runs until June 10.

Visit www.resourceforlondon.org/journey-to-justice

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