AN event to end youth and gang violence across Leeds was held yesterday, with backing from the Home Office.
The event was organised by the Chapeltown Youth Development Centre, (CYDC) at their Prince Philip Centre base at Scott Hall Avenue, LS7, which provides activities and sporting opportunities for young people.
Following the aftermath of nationwide outbreaks of disorder in the summer of 2011, the Goverment initiated a £10m project called Ending Gang and Youth Violence.
Leeds was one of the areas selected to participate and was singled out for praised by the Home Office.
Many services which had previously been delivered by public sector organisations are now offered through community based projects, like the CYDC.
Lutel James, manager of the CYDC who works with the young people who use the sporting facilities, said the day was a part of a breakthrough in changing the overall attitude of how things work.
He said: “The event well. There is definitely a shift towards communities taking leadership in helping combat problems. By meeting the needs of the community and by being supported by official bodies and organisations, there is hope we can help young people.
“Gang affiliation is a problem across the city and in all cities, but we are working to help this. Youth unemployment has gone through the roof and young people are disillusioned, it makes them susceptible and vulnerable to gang affiliation.
“It is not a Chapeltown problem, but happening in all areas. It is time for cities to take responsibility for what is happening.”
Mr James said the CYDC provides opportunities for young people to engage and learn about life skills, through workshops and sports including football, basketball and rugby.
Activities are ongoing and future plans include work with the Home Office to tackle gang affiliation and providing support for youngsters who may be susceptible or vulnerable to outside influence.