Source: Mail on Sunday, The {You}

Edition:
Country: UK
Date: Sunday 28, November 2010
Page: 36,37,3...
Area: 2639 sq. cm
Circulation: ABC 2037232 Weekly
BRAD info: page rate £39,300.00, scc rate £230.00
Phone: 020 7938 6000
Keyword: Diana Award
DIANAAWARDS
‘THEY WEREN’T
BORN BAD,
BUTTHEY WERE SUCKED INTO
GANG CULTURE BECAUSE THEY
COULDN’T SEE AN ALTERNATIVE’
For more than a decade since the death of Princess Diana, an award scheme
set up in her name has celebrated the power of young people to change the
world. Catherine O’Brien talks to four of this year’s winners who have had to
confront some of the most terrifying threats in today’s society – gang violence
and knife crime. Their inspirational stories illustrate everyone’s potential to
become a force for good – even when faced with the most desperate odds
Photographs CHARLOTTE MURPHY and MARTIN HUNTER
THE KNIFE-CRIME CAMPAIGNERS
Plevna Road is much like any other side street in
North London. A stone’s throw from the shopping
parade in Edmonton Green, it leads to a labyrinth
of residential streets, a health clinic and the local
library. Getride Sukama Lumengo cannot
walk along its pavements,
however, without thinking of the
dying moments of her friend
Henry Bolombi.
Henry was 17 when,
along with nine other
teenagers, he became
involved in a fght on a þus
after a night out. He jumped off
and was running down Plevna
Road when his assailants
caught up with him and
stabbed him repeatedly. He was pronounced
dead shortly after being taken to hospital.
Henry was not the sort of victim who
easily evoked sympathy. Known as Black H,
he ran a gang called the Cage Boys and his
death was undoubtedly down to gangland
rivalry. To Getride, however, he was ‘funny
Henry’, the close friend of her older brother
Joe, who came to their house almost every
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Article Page 1 of 8
167712656 - JOHCOR - D16003-1 - 42015322
Source: Mail on Sunday, The {You}
Edition:
Country: UK
Date: Sunday 28, November 2010
Page: 36,37,3...
Area: 2639 sq. cm
Circulation: ABC 2037232 Weekly
BRAD info: page rate £39,300.00, scc rate £230.00
Phone: 020 7938 6000
Keyword: Diana Award
day, where they watched football together and
fooled around.
‘He was a good guy who had gone down the
wrong path in life, because that is what happens
to boys around here,’ Getride says.
Three weeks after Henry
was killed, Getride was
walking home from school
when her elder sister Danielle
called to say that another boy
she knew, 18-year-old art and
design student Louis
Boduka, had been stabbed
and killed just a few hundred
yards away from the scene of
Henry’s death. ‘You hear
about street stabbings, but
you never think it is going to happen so close to
home,’ Getride says. ‘Then, after Henry and
Louis died, everyone was asking: “What are
the police doing about it?” But I started to think,
“What are we doing? It’s down to all of us to
take responsibility for what is happening.”’
With her best friend Mildred Edoukou, Getride
decided to launch Breakin’ the Cycle – a
ground-breaking campaign to halt knife crime.
Through school assemblies, they addressed their
fellow pupils about the futility and dangers of
gang culture. ‘We talked to everyone about Henry
and Louis as real people, rather than remote
victims,’ says Getride. ‘We explained what their
families had said about them at their funerals.
They weren’t born bad, but they were sucked into
gang culture because, around here, they couldn’t
see any alternative.’
Getride and Mildred’s thought-provoking
work, which also included distributing signature
T-shirts and key rings, has now been recognised
by a Diana Award. ‘These girls demonstrated not
only how to pursue a better path, but also how to
become positive leaders of tomorrow,’ said the
judges in their award citation.
The frst thing you notice when meeting
Getride and Mildred is the strength of the bond
between them. Both are 18 and come from
families that have been hit by hardship. Getride,
the youngest of six children, lost her 48-year-old
father to a brain haemorrhage seven years ago.
Her mother doesn’t work and they live on
þenefts. Mildred is one of eight children. Her
parents are separated – her taxi driver father lives
in South London, her mother works in Tesco.
Getride and Mildred frst met, aged 11, as
pupils at Broomfeld School in North London.
`Even in Year 7 [the frst year of secondary
school] you can pick out the þoys who are
going to þe in trouþle for fghting and þringing
in weapons,` says Mildred. `But in Year 10 the
real trouþle starts when they make up gang
names and start hate campaigns on Faceþook.`
`lt is not so much of a proþlem for girls,`
explains Getride. `We can work hard at school if
we want to. But þoys can`t þe seen to excel
otherwise they þecome targets. Because of
what schools are like around here, þoys have
to þelong to a gang, and that is how it starts.`
Memþerships of gangs are decided þy
postcodes a phenomenon that has led to
postcode `turf` wars, with fghts þreaking out
þetween, for example, N9 `Lower Edmonton`
gangs and those in N18 `Upper Edmonton`.
`lt sounds stupid when you talk aþout it, þut
to the þoys in gangs, it is deadly serious,` says
Mildred. `lt is all aþout respect and street cred
and what sort of hoodie you wear.`
Both girls have older þrothers who have
found it hard to escape the system. `My þrother
dropped out of school twice,` says Mildred.
`He`s working now and þecause he is
money-driven, l`m hoping he`ll stay out of
trouþle, þut he could still þe that innocent
person on the street who gets hurt.`
Getride is wary of talking openly aþout her
þrothers. `They don`t want to þe in the spotlight.
lt is not safe for them,` she says. `But someone
has to make a stand if we are going to change
things for the þetter.`
The strength of the Breakin` the Cycle
campaign, which was named after a song lyric
þy the rap artist Bashy, has þeen that it
operates on a peer-to-peer level. Teacher Pat
Hannah, who nominated Getride and Mildred
for the Diana Award, says, `lt was a þrave stand
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Article Page 2 of 8
167712656 - JOHCOR - D16003-1 - 42015322
Source: Mail on Sunday, The {You}
Edition:
Country: UK
Date: Sunday 28, November 2010
Page: 36,37,3...
Area: 2639 sq. cm
Circulation: ABC 2037232 Weekly
BRAD info: page rate £39,300.00, scc rate £230.00
Phone: 020 7938 6000
Keyword: Diana Award
±
to take, and there could have þeen a þacklash.
But instead, they got people talking and
þelieving that things didn`t have to þe this way.
No one is going to eradicate street crime
overnight, þut they have opened the dialogue.`
Getride and Mildred secured 11 GCSEs
each and are now studying for A-levels.
Getride wants to do a degree in maths; Mildred
is interested in architecture. Each will þe the
frst in their families to go to university. `Winning
the award has made us realise that people do
care and what you say does count,` says
Getride. Mildred adds: ‘We have seen the
tough side of life, þut also a þetter side. Doing
the campaign gave us hope that there is a
future þeyond this. The key thing is to support
each other, get on your feet and go for it.`
‘You hear about
street stabbings
but you never
think it is going
to happen so
close to home’
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Article Page 3 of 8
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Source: Mail on Sunday, The {You}
Edition:
Country: UK
Date: Sunday 28, November 2010
Page: 36,37,3...
Area: 2639 sq. cm
Circulation: ABC 2037232 Weekly
BRAD info: page rate £39,300.00, scc rate £230.00
Phone: 020 7938 6000
Keyword: Diana Award
Mildred Edoukou (left)
and Getride Sukama
Lumengo want to bring
an end to street violence
YOU 28 NOVEMBER 2010
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Article Page 4 of 8
167712656 - JOHCOR - D16003-1 - 42015322
Source: Mail on Sunday, The {You}
Edition:
Country: UK
Date: Sunday 28, November 2010
Page: 36,37,3...
Area: 2639 sq. cm
Circulation: ABC 2037232 Weekly
BRAD info: page rate £39,300.00, scc rate £230.00
Phone: 020 7938 6000
Keyword: Diana Award
THE SPORTS COACH
Jonathan Pitcher raises his T-shirt to reveal two small
puncture marks on the lefthand side of his torso.
They are the only visible evidence that remains of the
random knife attack that could have so easily cost
him his life little more than a year ago. ‘I thought I was
streetwise – that I knew how to stay out of trouble –
but the one time I let my guard down, I came under
attack,’ he says.
In June 2009, Jonathan, then 17, was out with
three friends – two girls and another boy – when,
unwittingly, he found himself in the midst of a fght
two miles from the quiet, residential street where he
lives in Enfeld, North London. `lt was early
evening,’ he recalls. ‘One of my friends, Abi, had
just passed her driving test and was taking us out.
Because she was inexperienced, she was driving
slowly. Another car came along, went to overtake
and missed Abi’s car by millimetres. As it went by,
someone inside lobbed a missile through the open
window of Abi’s car and it hit me in the face.’
A couple of moments later, Jonathan and his
friends made their way around the street corner
and saw the gang from the car waiting for them. ‘I
should have known better, but I was so annoyed, I
got out of the car, and before I knew it, I was under
siege. l didn`t feel the staþ wounds at frst. A friend
dragged me back and when I looked down, blood
was dripping from my side. The gang drove off,
and my friends got me to hospital where I was
found to have a punctured lung. My worst moment
was seeing the devastation in my parents’ faces
when they arrived. My dad said, “Why did you put
yourself in that situation?” And I just didn’t have an
answer for him.’
The son of a retired BT engineer father and
mother who works as an exams offcer, Jonathan
was discharged from hospital after three days, but
spent a month bed-bound at home. He then found
that although he was recovering physically,
mentally he remained traumatised. ‘I felt vulnerable
and paranoid. I remember not wanting to go out
even for my 18th birthday in September.’ He had
always been active – playing hockey, football,
tennis and swimming regularly þut his ftness
plummeted. Then a friend coaxed him into doing a
charity fun run. ‘I had no stamina, and I knew I
would have to walk most of the course, but I
realised I could either become a victim and a
recluse, or get myself back out there.’
Shortly after completing the fun run – and
coming a proud last – Jonathan returned to his
local hockey club where he had been one of the
top players. Although he was not yet well enough
to play, he offered his services as a coach, working
with the junior team – teenagers three or four years
younger than him. ‘Sport had always helped me
steer clear of trouble, and I wanted to help other
kids realise that they could have much more fun on
the pitch than hanging out on the street. Teaching
them new skills þuilt up their confdence, þut it also
made me feel better about myself.’
What Jonathan didn’t know was that he was
being watched closely by staff at Kingsmead
School, where he was an upper-sixth pupil. Director
of sixth form Ionie Young explains: ‘We were all
foored þy what he had þeen through and worried
that he might give up on his studies. He had never
þeen among the highly confdent pupils, þut the
amazing thing was that after the attack, he seemed
empowered. He bounced back academically
and his attitude was an inspiration to everyone in
his year group.’ Mrs Young nominated Jonathan
for a Diana Award after secretly watching his
coaching sessions at Winchmore Hill Hockey
Club. ‘He gave up his evenings and weekends
and was always willing to put himself out for others
without expectation or reward. He’s proof that
there is nothing you can’t do if you put your mind
to it, and that helping others is often the best way
of helping yourself.’
Jonathan, who is now 19, is þack to ftness and
playing hockey as well as coaching. He’s secured
three A-levels – an A and two Bs – and is taking a
gap year before going to university where he hopes
to read sociology. `l was only fve when Princess
Diana died and I didn’t understand what she stood
for,’ he says. ‘But now I can see that she believed
young people could make a difference. And
winning the award has made me realise that, in a
small way, that is what I’ve been able to do, too.’
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Article Page 5 of 8
167712656 - JOHCOR - D16003-1 - 42015322
Source: Mail on Sunday, The {You}
Edition:
Country: UK
Date: Sunday 28, November 2010
Page: 36,37,3...
Area: 2639 sq. cm
Circulation: ABC 2037232 Weekly
BRAD info: page rate £39,300.00, scc rate £230.00
Phone: 020 7938 6000
Keyword: Diana Award
‘I felt vulnerable
and paranoid.
I remember not
wanting to go out’
Jonathan Pitcher found that teaching
hockey to youngsters helped restore
his confidence following his attack
Reproduced by Durrants under licence from the NLA (newspapers), CLA (magazines), FT (Financial Times/ft.com) or other copyright owner. No further
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Article Page 8 of 8
167712656 - JOHCOR - D16003-1 - 42015322
Source: Mail on Sunday, The {You}
Edition:
Country: UK
Date: Sunday 28, November 2010
Page: 36,37,3...
Area: 2639 sq. cm
Circulation: ABC 2037232 Weekly
BRAD info: page rate £39,300.00, scc rate £230.00
Phone: 020 7938 6000
Keyword: Diana Award
THE YOUTH WORKER
Springburn in North Glasgow recently won the
unenviable title of being the most feared
neighbourhood in Scotland, with 42 per cent of its
residents declaring themselves afraid of being
attacked by strangers. Street corners are often
populated þy teenagers drinking fortifed Buckfast
wine and picking fghts, and until little more than a
year ago, Kyle Gallagher, 16, was among them. ‘It
wasn’t doing me a lot of good, but it was a way of
having a laugh,’ he shrugs.
Today, however, he is a
fedging hip-hop dance
teacher at Depot Arts, a
creative centre for local
young people. The person
he has to thank for turning
his life around is Depot Arts’
coordinator and Diana
Award winner Erin Friel. ‘Erin
is amazing. She’s given me
a future,’ Kyle says.
Jennifer Nixon tells a
similar story. A 16-year-old
single mother, she gave
birth to her son Josh in June 2009. ‘I had to leave
school and go and live with my gran. I lost all my
friends – they didn’t want to know me once I had a
baby. Then Erin saw me in the street, told me
there was a place where I could go and do some
workshops and þuild up my confdence. l loved
being in the choir at school and now I am singing
and writing songs again. Erin has been my rock.
She’s quite simply a legend around here.’
When I tell Erin about these tributes, she
blushes and says quietly, ‘I just try and be myself.’
Colleagues describe her as compassionate,
inspirational and modest. But perhaps the most
astonishing thing about her is that she is just 18.
The youngest of nine children, she has had, in
many ways, as tough an upbringing as the troubled
teenagers she is mentoring. The daughter of a
labourer father and factory worker mother, she
was left shattered three years ago by the death of
her þeloved elder þrother Patrick, 25, who was
staþþed to death in a street fght. Two men have
since been convicted of culpable homicide.
Erin fnds it diffcult to talk aþout the tragedy.
‘It is a big part of why I do what I do, but it is still
very raw,’ she says.
Erin’s own mentor is Anne MacGregor, the
project manager of a youth club to which Erin
þelonged. `When l frst met Erin, she was an
angry wee girl because of what had happened
to her brother. But instead of being eaten up by
that anger, she has turned it into a force for
good,’ says Anne.
Anne asked Erin to become a volunteer at
Depot Arts two years ago. Erin threw herself into
the role, running dance groups, organising
outings and sourcing funding to keep activities
going. Earlier this year, she was taken on as a
full-time worker and has been pioneering singing
and circus skills workshops. She sees a key part
of her role as breaking down the long-standing
gang rivalry þetween Possilpark, Springþurn,
and other neighbourhoods in the deprived
districts of North Glasgow where she lives.
`The gangs of Possilpark and Springþurn hate
each other, but I’ve no time for that pettiness,’ she
says. ‘Glasgow is one big community and the
only way forward is to give people something fun
to do and something that makes them feel good
about themselves.’
‘Erin has given up part of her own childhood to
be there for other young people,’ says Anne,
who nominated her protégé for the Diana
Award. ‘And she doesn’t take the easy option.
The children she helps are among the most
trouþled and diffcult to deal with, þut she
has a way of engaging with them that makes
all the difference.’
The Diana Award is a registered charity that seeks
nominations for exceptional teenagers who,
through volunteering, fundraising, campaigning
RUFDULQJKDYHZRUNHGVHOÁHVVO\IRUWKHEHQHÀWRI
others. So far, 30,000 young people have received
awards for helping to change their communities for
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information, go to diana-award.org.uk
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Article Page 6 of 8
167712656 - JOHCOR - D16003-1 - 42015322
Source: Mail on Sunday, The {You}
Edition:
Country: UK
Date: Sunday 28, November 2010
Page: 36,37,3...
Area: 2639 sq. cm
Circulation: ABC 2037232 Weekly
BRAD info: page rate £39,300.00, scc rate £230.00
Phone: 020 7938 6000
Keyword: Diana Award
‘The gangs of North Glasgow hate each other. But
I have no time for that pettiness. The way forward
is to make people feel good about themselves’
Despite being just 18 herself,
Erin Friel (right and above left)
mentors teenagers such as
fledging hip-hop dance teacher
Kyle Gallagher (above right)
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Article Page 7 of 8
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