A new project has been launched in Hackney to help parents spot the signs of children becoming involved with gangs.
Set up by Crib Youth Club with support from Hackney Council, Parents Voice involves sessions that look at gang culture and range of other issues, from sexual exploitation to cyber bullying.
The idea is to provide a support network and practical advice, particularly for parents of children affected by gang violence.
Kelly Reid, Crib project worker, explained: ‘Most parents aren’t bad parents, they’re just busy and they don’t know some of the signs to look out for. We want to empower them so they better understand the world that some of their children are growing up in.
‘In our sessions we want people to know that nobody will judge them, and that they can speak openly. We discuss real situations such as, someone giving their child a new pair of trainers. Why would somebody do that? Chances are they will have to “work” to pay the money back. This can be a “sign”, and a step into being part of a gang, sometimes the young people don’t even realise what’s happening to them.’
Hackney's deputy mayor, Cllr Sophie Linden, said: ‘This project shows how local communities can come together to help and support each other. Parents Voice gives people an opportunity to come together and talk about some very real and difficult issues.
‘We know many parents feel alone, and through the group sessions parents are given information about what to look out for. They are also given access to the much needed help and support that is available to them and their children.’