We love the area’s vibrancy and diversity. But it’s a place of great inequality too. As a result, many young people tell us they feel powerless, frustrated, not listened to. Some turn to violence.

The stats tell the sad story. The borough of Lambeth, where Brixton is located, has the highest volume of serious youth violence in London. It has the highest number of ambulance call-outs for young victims of assault.  And almost half of all serious violent crimes against young people involve a knife (the real figure would likely be higher if recording accuracy were improved).

The cycle of violence is devastating the lives of young people and families and blights the whole of the local community. Successfully breaking the cycle means tackling the root causes of Brixton’s inequalities and giving its young people a voice.

We were first invited to Angell Town by the Reverend Les Isaac of Ascension Trust in response to the growing knife crime epidemic. Since 2014, we’ve been working with young people and their families to help build peace and a brighter future.

We started slowly, spending a year listening to the community and building relationships. Youth projects have been short lived in the past, so we wanted to focus on building trust with young people.

We began building that trust through detached youth work. We met young people in their own space – on street corners, hanging on the football pitch. We played a LOT of football. We started to work with schools, running mentoring sessions and lunch clubs. We ate meals with neighbours every week.

Today, the CHIPS team is a real part of the community. We live and work across three of the largest estates in the area. We aim to empower stronger communities, to tackle the root causes of violence including mental health, and to prevent youth violence.

We do this by engaging with both young people and their families, often in collaboration with other community organisations, and primarily through:

• Community organising – listening to the concerns of local people and helping them drive real, positive action for change

• Partnership with schools – with a focus on mentoring students who’ve been identified as being at risk of exclusion

• One-to-one mentoring and family support – for people we meet through our projects and others referred by our partners and social services

In this way, we help communities to break the cycle of youth violence and develop a positive vision of a peaceful future!

Click on the links below to read about CHIP in the news:

Archbishop Justin Welby joins as CHIPS Patron, Brixton Blog, September 2020

Lessons from Brixton Movement Magazine, Spring 2020

Xmas appeal for charity Brixton Blog, December 2019

CHIPS launches new programme to tackle exclusions            London Post, November 2019

CHIPS launches new programme in South London                        Keep the Faith Magazine, November 2019

CHIPS on radio Riverside Radio, November 2019                           (listen from 16 minutes in)

Charity adds two youth workers to team Brixton Bugle, Oct 2019

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