As we continue to deliver preventative messages within schools across London, we are sometimes met with very emotional situations. Our team are often unable to share their insights due to the age of the children that we work with but on this occasion, our CEO felt that this story should be shared.
Our CEO Andrez Harriott attended a school recently and wrote this blog following his session:
“A little long but stay with me……Spent the morning in a school delivering a workshop exploring the true impact of crime on young people and their families. Date had been arranged for a few weeks ago but I had to change due to a diary clash. These children are at risk from many influences……During the session I show images of children who we have lost and make it personal by showing children who I have worked with or children who were murdered by young people that I have worked with. I always state that if you know the person feel free to leave at any point. A child looks up and says, that’s my brother and then asked to leave. The room fell silent and the kids in year 9&10 said this is the realist stuff I have heard. After the session the child who had left asked to see me as he was being consoled and supported. I told him that I used his brothers picture as I want to always honour his legacy, keep his legacy alive and help to prevent other children causing harm or being harmed. He then revealed that today was the anniversary of his brothers passing, which I could never have known. I told him that his brother would have wanted him to be making better choices in school and he too needed to honour his brothers legacy by getting things right at school. I asked if I could hug him because that’s what was needed, he said yes. We sometimes get technical as adults with children who offend or who are at risk and simply sometimes it’s just a hug that is needed, especially from men. A teacher approached me after and said that the child had previously had support from a councillor. Following our session, the child agreed to have additional support as it became clear to all staff that he is still suffering from PTSD. I had no idea of what this day would bring but these killings have an affect on so many. I had no idea that after working years earlier surrounding his brothers case that today, I would be working with his sibling…….”