A youth group set up in the wake of a fatal stabbing in Leeds will soon have a permanent base for its work.
Leeds Street Team was founded after the death of 16-year-old Irfan Wahid, who was killed by another teenager in Harehills on February 10, 2017.
While family members travelled out to his burial place in Pakistan to mark the first anniversary of his death this weekend, it was also a time to reflect on the work happening in the community to prevent further tragedies.
Street Team co-founder Zed Ahmed said: “Initially we were just going out talking to young people – What’s triggering it? Why do they feel the need to carry a knife with them? A lot of it was about protection.
“We thought we can’t just leave it here, we need to work with these young people. The majority were chucked out of youth clubs, not in employment or education. They could easily get involved in gangs.”
After earning their trust, the Street Team volunteers began to organise evening activity sessions in and around Harehills, as well as workshops on a host of topics from knife crime and radicalisation to CV writing.
Work is also under way to renovate a room given over to the group for free by the Bilal Mosque in Conway Road.
Zed said: “We’ve got professionals coming in to teach the young people at the same time as renovating it.
“If they know how much work has gone into it, then they’ll respect the equipment a lot more but it will also equip them with skills.”