“LET’S TALK” is a long term project addressing knife crime in Peckham and central Southwark, which will also have value in the national debate. It focuses on the voice of young people. The 2020 Series of Forums began at the Blue Elephant Theatre in Camberwell on 15th January 2020 with a new Panel meeting local youngsters to hear what they have to say about life, the world and them in it.

Ark Walworth Academy – Highshore School – Surrey Square Primary School – Blue Elephant Theatre have already signed up for the 2020 programme of events.

Dulwich College

Dulwich College have announced their date for a LET’S TALK Forum, it’s in March … and three other local organisations are considering taking the sixth and final slot in the 2020 schedule.

Across 2019 CTVT ran three discussion forums, a figure which we have increased in 2020. Once again we are working with local professionals and one or two special invitees to sit on the Panel that visits schools and youth clubs to listen to their young people.

CTVT will  produce another range of short films to tour schools and youth clubs during the autumn. The 2019 productions, in addition to offering a range of voices from the Forums, also featured the performing arts: Harris Academy Peckham pupils had written a musical around a tragic knife crime story and one scene was filmed to give a taste of that stage production; many local young people are writing poetry and rap in their response to current events; Peckham-based dance company, Movement Factory, created an inspirational dance drama “ONE ROAD, TWO PATHS” centred around knife crime. This tapestry of creativity adds the voice of young ‘talking heads’ suggesting remedies or at least directions of enquiry.

This pattern of live events, with young people addressing a select professional Panel, and a film touring schools and youth clubs will be repeated through to 2022. Funding for this comes from London Community Foundation via The Peckham Settlement. The latter organisation supported the pilot project in 2019.

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Case studies were generated from audio recordings of the forums, with individuals anonymised. Shocking stories and sober insights emerged . This work is being offered to Government Departments such as –

Home Office; Department for Education; Department of Health & Social Care; Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government; Ministry of Justice

– and to local authority managers and agencies.

It is hoped that over the course of the next three years CTVT will accumulate a valuable body of data, tracking young lives and showing the evolution of response to knife crime.

At the final event of the 2019 series in July Panel members told of their reflections, proposals and actions that resulted from listening to local young people. Panel members also came together spontaneously in partnership, with an extraordinary outcome in one instance which saw parents of a local murdered young man being invited to a private meeting with the Prime Minister.

Theresa May

Theresa May was so struck by the testimony of the father that she released money to a support service, the National Homicide Service, run through the Ministry of Justice. This extra money now pays for two extra case workers to support bereaved families in London. A direct outcome of LET’S TALK.

See the project website for more stories and information –