Story by Safiya Saeed | Photos by Sarah Zaggers
Summertime! Does that mean time to spend in the sun with families or go on a dream holiday? It’s not a possibility for many youths in Sheffield. This can be a high season for anti-social behaviour, crime and drug recruitments.
Set up to provide an alternative for bored youth, at risk of being drawn into anti-social behaviour, Big Brother Burngreave (BBB) celebrated their achievements after having achieved many of their years’ goals. They are not resting on their laurels, however, and are already developing new projects and activity ideas.
On the 20th July, BBB organised Sheffield’s largest fundraising event against knife crime at the Concord Centre – Sports Over Streets. It was an event to unite all members of the community. Big Brother leaders had thirteen local teams for the football tournament and local rappers came along to entertain us. We want the message to be clear:
“We want our streets safe, we want our streets back!”
The event raised £800 and many donated food and drinks. There were twenty-five volunteers on the day. All the youth had so much fun, the group are calling for this kind of events to be put on yearly.
Where will the funds go?
To tackle knife crime in Sheffield, Big Brother Burngreave want to create an outreach programme. Plans are for this to include: youth leadership programmes targeting self development; mental health workshops and counselling for those who need the support and sports activities to tackle anti-social behaviour. The team will engage with local businesses and giving talks to schools and colleges.
There will be educational trips around action against knife crime and speaking to victims of knife crime and, finally, they will host multiple career days and start a CV workshop to help young people find jobs.
Overall, knife crime has been an ongoing issue that will not end until we, as a community, intervene. The only way to help prevent potential criminal association is by targeting the impressionable young people. This fundraiser will act as a platform to celebrate unity and empowerment.
Shortly after the event, group leaders Sahal Barre and Abdul Malik stepped down from their roles, as they are heading off to Leeds Beckett University to study sports therapy. Stepping into their shoes are Tyrone Opoku Yeoah and Rafique Sabran. Best of luck to them!