Andre’a: The youth worker helping future generations step back from a life of crime.
Youth service Fearless.org – part of independent charity Crimestoppers – is guiding young people away from the harm caused by crime by delivering an educational programme in schools, which also encourages the reporting of crime 100% anonymously.
With crimes like County Lines increasing, where young people are recruited often with violence to sell drugs away from their home towns, the need to debunk myths such as gang life being `glamorous’ is needed more than ever.
Almost 700 school children were victims of knife crime in the West Midlands last year. This figure includes 41 children of primary school age.
Aimed at predominantly those aged between 11-16, West Midlands Fearless worker Andre’a reached nearly 7,000 young people last year in local schools by running workshops. These are designed to reduce the likelihood of them becoming involved in crime which could harm themselves and others.
The engaging workshops also highlight how they have options when reporting crime, as they can speak up and pass on what they know 100% anonymously via Fearless.org. One of 15 Fearless workers across the UK currently, Andre’a has delivered 162 workshops last year and trained over 330 professionals.
Andre’a, West Midlands Fearless Worker, said: “I have been in my role for almost two years. I really enjoy working with young people and believe informal education creates a platform to address issues and support young people who are at risk of making the wrong decisions.
“Fearless.org encourages young people to give information about crime both anonymously and safely.
“I try to reason with them, explaining it’s not ‘grassing’ your friends up or ‘snitching’ when passing on crime information. This is especially true when talking about carrying knives. Young people can be so far removed from thinking that it could be their friend or family member that gets killed or seriously hurt.
“It’s very rewarding when you see their attitudes change by the end of the workshop and they have taken on board a new way of thinking, which could potentially keep them or their friends safe.
“I make it clear to young people that I do understand them. I convey this in a fun and interactive way with relatable role play. This helps and supports their learning.
“They are given non-judgemental facts about crime and I emphasise that, in my workshops, they are in a safe space. They can be honest with me, I’m not here to judge them.”
To get more information on Fearless and the resources it has available to young people and their peers, visit Fearless.org. If you have any information about crime, you can fill out the untraceable form on their website. You’ll stay 100% anonymous.