When I say Value you say Life…

Was the chant of students, teachers and community members at the fifth Value Life march in Haringey today. The Youth Act team went to support the work of this group that started in 2003 with Youth Act training. It was early starts all round
to get to South Tottenham for the 9am start of the festival in the school ground! The Choice FM speakers were pumping and there were students from four schools in the courtyard getting tickets for the bus journey and information and freebies from the stands!

David Lammy who is the local MP and also the Minister for Skills started us off with a rousing speech and Lee Carryl, the head of Citizenship at Gladesmore asked us all to sign the Value Life wall, nice touch My Carryl!!

The sun came out as all the students piled into 10 open top buses that wove their way slowly from South Tottenham to Wood Green. There were over 1000 students on the bus with teachers and the Youth Act team and we certainly made sure that everyone on the route to Ducketts Common heard us and knew what we were trying to do! People came out of the offices and schools and waved us on and it was nice to see such a positive response to young people in the community.

When we finally arrived at Ducketts Common, we discovered that there were film crews from ITV Local and Sky News there and that made us all feel quite famous:) We started the march at the bottom end of Wood Green High Street and marched through the main street, giving information to shoppers and people in traffic. The students that took paart were from years 7 to 10 and everyone really got involved with the chants – it was like the 60s reborn!

Rev Nims from the Peace Alliance kept our spirits up in the baking heat as we walked through and we eventually arrived en masse at Decorium having picked up another 250 people on the way! The students then went into Decorium for a showcase of music, poetry and MC-ing about knife crime which culminated in a show by Chipmunk (brap, brap to the mc crews!)

The march was amazing – I felt really moved by the fact that the whole thing started with a group of 9 young people and 2 adults to nearly 2000 people – it is amazing what you can achieve if you want to!!!

The photos are on Flickr

Views expressed on this blog are not necessarily those of the Citizenship Foundation.

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