The Lambeth Schools Patrol (LSP) project was formally launched yesterday (30 October) in the centre of Brixton.
The project is a partnership between Brixton businesses and local charity Code 7, which is recruiting a team of fully trained community volunteers.
It grew out of community concern about the lack of positive interaction available for young people locally and is also a direct response to Lambeth council’s proposed public health approach to the development of sustainable and thriving communities.
LSP plans to offer a positive befriending service for young people, designed to inspire and support their ongoing learning and development.
The Brixton Business Improvement District and the Lambeth Green Man Skills Zone are two of its key backers.
Code 7, established in 1996, is based in Lambeth and focuses on providing troubled young people with alternative music and performance pathways that focus on their development.
It has helped thousands of young people to develop their careers, education and personal development. It is headed by Lambeth reggae legend Asher Senator.
LSP recruited and trained volunteers over the summer, enabling yesterday’s full launch. Volunteers will respond to requests from communities, schools and statutory agencies.
Over the coming winter, LSP will work with Lambeth schools to promote the project, recruit more volunteers and ensure that young people are fully aware of the support they can get.
Volunteers will be on the streets of central Brixton between 3 and 5pm on school days, providing an opportunity for local youth to connect with people who will interact positively, guide, support and befriend them – and not, says the project, as the result of a problematic intervention.
According to Transport for London, more than 20,000 young people of secondary school age, travel through Lambeth each school day. “This is an opportunity for us to positively interact with young people in a constructive context,” says the project.
To date, eight volunteers have undergone in-depth training in a range of areas, including safeguarding, first aid and development and social psychology.
A second group of volunteers will begin induction training soon. The goal is to train a pool of 50 volunteers between now and the end of 2020.
More information code7.live/lambeth-schools-patrol