January
23
2019
Author
Jennie Pollock
Introducing 'Power the Fight'

In 2016, following the murder of teenager Myron Yarde, pastor Ben Lindsay started gathering people from within and outside the local church to reflect, pray and create a space for dialogue for anyone in the community concerned about youth violence. Policy makers, police, youth workers, pastors, clergy and parents joined together to listen and learn from each other. This collective response inspired the beginnings of Power the Fight.

On 21 January 2019, Power the Fight was launched as a new charity. It was founded by Ben Lindsay out of a deep belief in the value of human life and the importance of community, and is led by a team of Trustees passionate about seeing an end to youth violence in our nation. Power the Fight is a response to a growing need for all parts of society to take responsibility for one another.

Ben Lindsay explains more.

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The need:

Knife crime in England and Wales is at the highest level on record.

In the year to March 2018, police-recorded offences involving knives or sharp instruments rose by 16% to 40,147 in England and Wales.

The victims of knife crime are getting younger.

In 2018 just over a third of homicide victims in London were aged 16 to 24.

The reasons are multiple and complex and include:

  • Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
  • Undiagnosed and untreated trauma
  • Lack of focus on early years and early intervention
  • Reduction in youth services
  • A decrease in police numbers
  • School exclusion rates
  • Deficient parental support
  • Poverty
  • Social inequality
  • Lack of employment opportunities

As a society, we all have a role to play.

Research shows that we need to treat violence as a public health issue – as a disease – and not simply a criminal justice issue. Only a holistic approach with a cross fertilisation of specialists from a range of disciplines can tackle the root issues and protect the lives of our children and young people. At Power the Fight, we believe the church has a major role to play as part of this approach – battling injustice and demonstrating love and reconciliation. That is why we offer training and resources to equip and empower anyone wanting to be better informed on this issue. With our unique network, we build connections that promote shared learning and mutuality, so that together we can promote peace in our communities and see an end to youth violence.

Our work

Having spent more than 17 years working with and for local authorities in education and youth offending settings, I have seen the impact of sustained austerity measures. Churches, faith groups and community groups, often with their own buildings and access to resources and volunteers, have a unique contribution to make.

Most of our work is with families, churches, faith groups and community organisations who want to be equipped to engage with youth violence issues in their context. We do this in a number of ways:

  1. Training and workshops

At Power the Fight we have access to the leading thinkers and practitioners from a range of disciplines working in the field of youth violence.

We want to see organisations and communities better trained and equipped to make a difference to young people’s lives.

For more information go to the Training and Events section on our website.

  1. Resources

At Power The Fight we have developed resources to help churches, faith and community groups to better understand the youth violence issue. These include specialist PowerTalks, links to helpful websites and toolkits. For more information go to Specialist Talks and Resources on our website.

  1. Building connections

At Power The Fight we bring churches, community and faith groups together with local authorities, services and other partners to promote mutuality, improve cohesion and effect change. For more information on how we can serve you go to Bespoke Programmes on our website

We invest the money we raise into equipping communities to build sustainable, community-owned projects that promote peace and end youth violence.

  1. Families 

At Power The Fight we are working towards supporting families impacted by youth violence. We aim to do this in partnership, providing access to therapeutic, financial and legal support.

 

How your church can get involved

Power the Fight is a charity that relies on the generosity of our donors. We also believe in partnership. If you are passionate about promoting peace and ending youth violence, please consider partnering with Power the Fight. 

A partnership between your church and Power the Fight will involve:

A commitment to giving – Your donations help us to continue our vital work. Please see our donate page for more information.

A commitment to being trained – As a partner you will gain access to our network of leading thinkers, trainers and practitioners.

A commitment to championing our work – Our resources and speakers are a great way to get your church or community group involved in promoting peace and ending youth violence in your context.

A commitment to supporting our advocacy campaigns – Your stories inform our advocacy work. Our relationships with policy-makers and influencers enable us to give a voice to these stories and achieve change.

For more information on becoming a partner please Email us

Together we can power the fight to end youth violence.

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For more information visit www.powerthefight.org.uk

Follow Power the FIght on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter: @PowerTheFightUK