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Bang Edutainment raises aspirations for local children

PICTURED: Bang Edutainment No Limits Programme

HARLESDEN WAS once the gun crime capital of the UK, and recorded the highest murder rate in the country, which is staggering considering how big the UK is.

Despite the fact that crime has decreased slightly, violent crime and anti-social behaviour account for over half of the crimes committed in the area, with young people particularly susceptible to gangs and crime.

The community is still reeling from the murder of Quamari Barnes who was violently stabbed to death as he left Capital City Academy, and there are several other cases that have not made the news. In spite of this, there are a number of solid community programmes that do a lot of good and raise the aspirations of children in the local community.

Bang Edutainment is one of the longest running community projects and charities, and they've had a lot of success in serving young people in Brent. Bang have been running for 18 years, and have helped over 500 people through their programmes, workshops and after school facilities.

Their No Limits Programme helps children at risk of offending, by highlighting and building on their strengths. It is an edifying programme delivered by qualified youth workers and mentors. The founder of Bang, Jennifer Ogole who still lives in the community believes that prevention is better than cure, and No Limits is currently their most successful programme.

“There are many reasons why young people offend, including breakdowns in the family unit," says Jennifer. "Young people are not born bad, but labels and situations outside of their control can lead them to crime, and to seeking affirmation from other places. It’s for us as a community to draw them back.”

As well as the No Limits programme, Bang Edutatinment have a full range of projects, including an after-school club. There are also some more exciting things on the horizon, including radio classes, and online classes that can reach the community and beyond.

“I see a Harlesden that is thriving, bustling and profitable. But it starts with us. It starts with us contributing and investing in the lives of our young people.” Jennifer concludes.

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