Lambeth Schools Patrol (LSP), the innovative community-led and designed youth safety initiative today (27 January) opened a pop-up shop in Brixton’s Market Row.
LSP said the shop would boost its new volunteer recruitment campaign after lockdown.
Long established local charity Code 7 manages the LSP project, vetting and training all volunteers.
The project has been funded for a second year by Brixton businesses, through the Brixton Business Improvement District (BID), and public donations.
LSP seeks to positively befriend some of the thousands of school-age children going home through central Brixton between 3 and 5pm.
“Our dedicated and trained volunteers provide a safety net, reassurance and a point of advice for young children as they navigate their way home,” LSP said.
“The aim of the project goes beyond safe travel home. Our volunteers receive mental health and advanced first aid training, as well as information on referring young people to local community projects.”
The pop-up shop, staffed by volunteers, will be open for four weeks to recruit volunteers for the spring and summer terms this year.
LSP banners will hang throughout Brixton Village.
Volunteers will also leaflet central Brixton, providing information on the project.
Code 7 CEO and local reggae legend Asher Senator said: “We kick-started this project in 2017 and held project design workshops with local communities and statutory stakeholders.”
He said it had taken two years to develop the delivery and training package, which includes safeguarding procedures, mental and advanced first aid training as well as ensuring volunteers have the ability to refer young people to local community projects that can help them.
“With the support of BID, the project launched and the response from the public and young people has been amazing,” said Senator.
“They love that we are independent, self-funded through businesses, public donations, and volunteer effort.
“When we’re out on patrol the public consistently commend our efforts to support young people.
“The project has been a massive success and after a lengthy enforced delay we’re now rebooting LSP for 2022.”
Elly Foster, Satay Bar owner and chair of Brixton BID, said: “This is our second year funding this brilliant project and we are delighted to back them again.
“What we’ve seen in supporting this project is that a small amount of funding can make a remarkable and tangible difference to people’s lives.
“The project forms part of BID’s overall goal of working with community initiatives such as LSP in making the central Brixton area a pleasant and safe place to work and live.”
Local MP Helen Hayes said: “Lambeth Schools Patrol is a vitally important community initiative working to support children and young people to stay safe on their way home from school.
“I strongly encourage anyone who can make a regular commitment of time on weekday afternoons to visit the volunteer recruitment shop in Brixton Market.”
Sherry Peck, CEO of Safer London said: “I’ve seen first-hand the fantastic work of the Lambeth Schools Patrol and Code 7.
“The transformational effects on volunteers, on young people and the confidence and pride it generates in the wider community is hugely inspiring.
“Community-led public health projects such LSP provide a fantastic example of the kind of community volunteer and business partnerships that can make a real and tangible difference to young Londoners’ lives.
“Particularly impressive is Code 7’s commitment to ensuring the highest levels of safeguarding standards. Safer London is proud to support this project.”
Viv Ahmun of Blaksox said: “We know that prevention and wealth creation through community mobilisation are critical underpinnings if we are to create safer, happier communities for our families.
“Code 7’s leadership understands this and have worked to make it manifest in their practice and for that we applaud them.
“We look forward to continuing to provide strategic support for their initiatives, especially the Lambeth Street Patrol and we urge you to volunteer and sign up now for their first-class induction training.
“The Lambeth Schools Patrol is a powerful benchmark for those – both civil society and for profit – who seek to serve our community – time for people to stop the talking and start showing up in-person.”
Diana Nabagereka, general manager of Brixton Village said: “Hosting the Lambeth Schools Patrol recruitment campaign is an honour that myself and the team at Brixton Village can’t wait to shout about.
“This powerful and deeply required initiative makes a real difference to the positive safeguarding of the young people in our community.
“We hope that this central site pop-up in the Village will act as a thriving base for the Lambeth Schools Patrol team, not only to promote the work they do, but also successfully recruit for the new cohort of patrollers for our borough.”
LSP Volunteer Molita Gordon said the training is amazing.
“I can truly recommend it for anyone who wants to support our young people.
“It’s life changing and the fact that I am now a project manager for Code 7 is testament to that. Honestly, I can’t recommend it highly enough”.
Volunteer Rebecca Carnegie said that doing the LSP training was one of the best things that had ever happened to her.
“It’s training for life. After completing it I have never looked back.
“Not everyone makes it through and that’s because it goes deep into your personal psychology. But trust me when I say this training is exceptional.”
Volunteers can register for training via an online form.
LSP is also promoting a public fundraising drive so the public can support the project with a donation.
For background to the project visit www.code7.live/lambeth-schools-patrol