Youth Safety Week marks five years since launch of local taskforce

Camden Council has launched its annual local Youth Safety Week with a series of events and activities for children, young people, parents, carers and professionals, which will raise awareness of what is being done in Camden to keep young residents safe – as well as helping to equip young people and the community to stay safe.

Running from 22 to 28 June (with further events and activities either side of these dates), this year’s Camden Youth Safety Week will be the fourth annual event of its kind in the borough so far – and it comes in the run-up to the fifth anniversary of the publication of Camden’s Youth Safety Taskforce Report, which set in motion a wide range of initiatives to help safeguard young residents.

On Friday (16 June), the winners of Camden’s annual Youth Safety Multi-Media Competition, which encouraged young people to get creative by producing a range of media and arts projects based on the theme ‘keeping children and young people in Camden safe’, were announced.

Entrants used contemporary dance, poetry, documentary film-making and animation to get their messages across.

The joint winners were Mary's charity, with a film about the young people who are supported by the charity, including their hopes, dreams, interests and sense of community and safety, and William Ellis School with Parliament Hill School, whose male and female students jointly produced a film called ‘What it means to be a teen in 2023’. This focuses on the pressures and dangers for young people of social media, the safety and wellbeing of young women and girls, toxic masculinity / peer pressure and mental health. (Note: Mary's are still working on a more finished version of their winning film which will be shared publicly later). 

The runners-up in this year's Youth Safety Multi-Media Competition this year were:

  • British Somali Community (BSC) film - ‘My Hijab’ - focusing on personal identity and pride, as well as feeling safe; featuring a poem and film by hijab-wearing Somali girls and young women from BSC
  • Acland Burghley School - ‘Call of Duty’ dance piece by their boys' dance group, supported by the school's PE and dance teacher Sean Osinlaru. Their contemporary dance focuses on the pressure to be part of the camaraderie and show-up for friends or peer groups and the toll this can take, with potentially devastating effects
  • Fitzrovia Youth in Action, in partnership with Camden Council's Detached Youth Team, for their animated film ‘Guardians’. This focuses on what we can all do to help keep our local young people and community safe and was produced by local young people as part of the Regent's Park Estate Community Champions and Guardians resident-led project.

Young people involved in these multi-media projects won money for their school, youth centre or charity, as well as vouchers for themselves. Two of the runners-up and one of the winners also received funding to help produce their films as part of this annual Council-run competition.

One of the main events at this year’s Youth Safety Week will be a Young People’s Assembly on young women and girls’ safety, which will be held on 26 June. Other activities include youth health and wellbeing events, online safety sessions, workshops to tackle toxic masculinity, as well as knife crime awareness sessions.

Activities and events are hosted by Camden Council youth and family support projects, the voluntary sector and local health partners. You can view and download the full programme for Youth Safety Week 2023 here.

Among the groups getting involved this year are the Regent’s Park Estate Community Champions and Young Guardians, who have led a number of projects to improve the lives of young people and residents of all ages in the Regent’s Park area, as well as being runners-up in this year's Youth Safety Multi-Media Competition.

Councillor Sabrina Francis, Cabinet Member for Young People and Culture

Our priority as a Council is to make Camden a place where young people feel safe and can flourish. We’re hosting the borough’s fourth Youth Safety Week to speak directly to communities about issues they may be facing, as well as to hear first-hand from our young residents on how we can further support them.

Alongside our partners, I’m proud of what we’ve achieved so far to reduce violence affecting young people and to create more opportunities for them, but there is always more we can do.

Councillor Sabrina Francis, Cabinet Member for Young People and Culture
Abdul Hai OBE, Co-Chair of the Camden Youth Safety Steering Group

We all have a role in making sure our young people have safe places to be and to thrive. Since the Council set up the Youth Safety Taskforce, we and the community have come together to deliver on our aim to make the borough a safer place for young people to live and grow. I’m proud of the progress we have made, but we also need to go further to ensure young people in Camden can feel safe and be protected.  

Youth Safety Week gives us the opportunity to raise awareness of the vital work that’s taking place across Camden to make a difference for young people, as well as help to equip them and their families with the skills and knowledge to help them stay safe.

Abdul Hai OBE, Co-Chair of the Camden Youth Safety Steering Group
Keir Starmer, MP for Holborn and St Pancras and Co-Chair of the Youth Safety Steering Group

The Camden Youth Safety Multi-Media Competition is about giving young people the chance to get their message across in their own way. The entries this year were really impressive and I am pleased that we were able to award joint winners.  I always find watching these films humbling and am grateful to everyone who took part.

Keir Starmer, MP for Holborn and St Pancras and Co-Chair of the Youth Safety Steering Group

View the Youth Safety Week 2023 programme of events and activities.

The Camden Youth Safety Steering Group, which oversees work across the borough by the Council and our partners to help keep young people safe, is Co-Chaired by local MP Keir Starmer and former Camden Councillor Abdul Hai OBE. Find out more here.

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