Hundreds of concerned individuals, project leaders and organisations turned out for the launch of the Ascension Trust Synergy Partnership in May. The initiative is a church response to youth violence, gangs and youth crime, and was organised by the Ascension Trust and Marcia Dixon PR.
Hosted by Marcia Dixon and Rev Ricardo Christopher, the event brought together individuals, charities and churches interested in working together to tackle youth violence in our communities.
Speakers included: Andrew Hillas, Assistant Chief Officer of London Community Rehabilitation Company; Christopher Chessun, the Bishop of Southwark; Bishop Lenford Rowe, COGOP Regional Bishop for London South; Delphine Duff, Operations Manager for the Young Adults and Gangs Unit (CRC), and Professor Anthony Goodman from Middlesex University.
The prominent speakers highlighted there were many great projects being carried out within the Church arena, but it was difficult for anything to survive in isolation, and so collaboration was emphasised as the key to success. A collective effort would bring diversity between organisations and provide the greatest range of skills, thus creating enormous potential and resources.
The Synergy Partnership launch highlighted four collaborative projects: the Cassandra Learning Centre, a project raising awareness of domestic violence; Spark2Life, founded by Dez Brown, tackling gang and knife crime in London; Christian International Peace Service (CHIPS), with teams living in areas of conflict and building relationships with people on both sides, and New Choices for Youth, a project that works with young people involved in or at risk of being involved in the Criminal Justice System.
Canon Rev Les Isaac OBE called for the different groups to trust each other, and develop relationships to help each other’s projects, by volunteering with their local projects, to help build, learn and give support to pastors, churches and the police. The more people meet, eat together, trust each other and develop together, the greater and more effective will be the collaboration required to bring about change.
If you would like to find out more about the Ascension Trust Synergy Partnership, visit http://www.ascensiontrust.org.uk/.