Leeds girls fight gun crime with weapon of rhyme

A pair of teenage girls from Leeds are using rhyme and rhythm to fight the menace of gun and knife crime.

Sheraye Johnson, 17, and Maye Brown, 18, both from Chapeltown, recently put their heads together to write a thought-provoking anti-violence rap called Think Twice.

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Now an initiative called ITV Fixers has given them the chance to make a video to accompany their rap, which they plan to show in schools and youth clubs.

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And the girls hope youngsters who see the film and hear their music will quickly realise the folly of living life on the wrong side of the tracks.

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Sheraye said: "I know a lot of people who have been affected by gun and knife crime and feel the need to go out carrying (weapons], to go around thinking that you're 10 men, you're hard.

"If you can get the message across that it's not all about that, that you don't need to carry a gun, then kids will feel more safe to walk the streets."

Sheraye and Maye's stance has won support from Lorraine Fraser, whose 16-year-old son Tyrone Clarke was killed by a gang in Beeston in 2004.

At a meeting with the aspiring rappers, Lorraine, pictured above, told them: "I think it's really good what you're trying to do and when you do good, good follows.

"You're doing good girls, and I will back you in anything you want to do."

The ITV Fixers scheme provides 16 to 25-year-olds with resources to tackle issues they feel strongly about. One key area of support is the help the young people receive from media professionals while putting together DVDs or websites to promote their cause.

The scheme is funded by youth volunteering charity v.

For more details, visit the www.itvfixers.com website.

* Sheraye and Maye's story will be featured on tomorrow's edition of ITV Yorkshire's Calendar programme, starting at 6pm.