Contribute to the fight against knife crime – join Synergy

According to the BBC, the recent number of homicides in London surpassed last year’s figure of 116*. So far this year, there have been 122 homicides* in London, including 69 fatal stabbings, 14 shootings*, and a heavily pregnant woman, who was killed by a crossbow whilst washing dishes in her kitchen. 22 teenagers* in the capital have lost their lives.

Fatherless children, violence, so-called ‘county lines’ drug networks, middle-class cocaine users, drill music, cuts to youth services, social media and the recent cases of absent mothers are all being attributed to causes behind the rising level of knife crime. Whatever you may feel is the cause, they are our children, our responsibility, and I believe the only way we, as a community, can work towards alleviating this issue is by working together . . . in synergy.

It takes a whole village to raise a child.

In our last issue, we featured the Synergy Network, an initiative from the Ascension Trust, who are celebrating their 25th anniversary this year, and an organisation that Keep The Faith proudly supports.

Following on from our initial feature about the Synergy Network, an initiative that is a multi-party collaboration between churches, organisations, the police, probation service, experts in their field, and individuals of all faiths and none, we have spoken with a number of leaders, community projects and even individuals, who have signed up as members of the Synergy Network, to find out why they have joined, and what are their hopes and aspirations for becoming members of this initiative.

If you want to contribute to the fight against youth crime, I would encourage you to find out more about the Synergy Network, by visiting or calling 020 8330 2809.

*at time of going to print


JOANNA DALE           

I am in the beginning stages of pioneering a Systemic Trauma Centre for young people impacted by youth violence. The idea of ‘Healing and Reconciliation’ has really stood out to me, especially in respect to childhood, adolescent and racial trauma. The concept of the Trauma Centre will focus on:  Healing and Reconciling with history (trauma related to African ancestry and slavery); Healing and Reconciling with ourselves from the inside out (trauma related to childhood and adolescent experiences), and Healing and Reconciling with each other (related to relationships between young people/families/Black and Minority Ethnic communities/those of other races). In the form of one-to- one, family therapeutic support, with additional safe spaces for group discussions, the Centre will ultimately provide safe spaces for people to talk openly through their experiences and, with the support of each other and specialist practitioners, to find ways to heal.

Keep The Faith: Can you tell me why you have chosen to join the Synergy Network? How do you feel it will impact the community?

I have chosen to join Synergy Network, as I believe that working together in partnership is the only way forward. Working as a social worker in a borough which has one of the highest number of serious youth violence incidents; the highest number of first-time entrances into the criminal justice systems, and the highest number of Black and ethnic minority entrances into the care system, I have become frustrated at the continued lack of cohesiveness between local partners, statutory and voluntary/third sectors. The culture of silo working, driven by funding, highest bids and professional ego, has led to such fractured services in what is already a fractured and broken society. This too has extended within faith group organisations, which also lack strategic and joined-up thinking. However, I have full confidence that the Synergy Network will seek to bring professionals, organisations and faith-based groups together, to make a difference to our communities.

One of the largest challenges I continue to see, is the lack of recognition that violence and aggression are adaptive, and developed in response to environments. I often see efforts to try to change the person, without true consideration to what they are growing and developing within. Therefore, if we were to begin to take into account all forms of violence – including that of prejudice and power – it would aid in us challenging and changing environments, which would allow for our young people to finally thrive instead of simply surviving.

Joanna can be contacted by emailing



Leadership Steps (UK) Ltd was founded in 2012 by Delroy Davis, who has a wealth of experience spanning over 15 years, empowering people to fulfil their purpose. He learnt early on that people want to make progress in their lives in some way or another, and this is why Leadership Steps UK was established.

We provide leadership and professional development programmes to companies and individuals, and have successfully delivered training both in the UK (Leeds, Dudley, Stafford, Northampton, Essex, London) and across the globe. For example, in March 2018 we were able to team up with over 250 John Maxwell International coaches in Costa Rica and train over 15,000 people in transformational leadership.

We deliver successful training programmes that have a positive impact on the individual and the organisation. We use proven methods, so you will be investing in the best learning methods. We focus on the right skills, depending on modern requirements and organisational needs, and afterwards we keep in touch with our clients to ensure the training they received is helping them to achieve their desired goals.

Keep The Faith: Can you tell me why you have chosen to join the Synergy Network? How do you feel it will impact the community?

Delroy Davis: I like the idea of working together to bring change. I do feel some of the ideas we offer – like leadership development; personal growth; coaching for individuals and groups; speaking skills; workshops, and building positive self-image – can complement some of the contributions that bring change to communities. During April and October 2017, youth leadership events were hosted all over the world. John Maxwell Team members hosted 465,000 youth at nearly 2,000 events in 52 countries. The youth who attended these events were equipped, inspired and empowered to have a positive self-image; respect themselves and others; be a positive influence, and to fail forward towards success. The events were FREE and open to all children and youth groups, between the ages of 8-18. We can also offer this programme to youth in the UK, with the help of the Synergy Network.

For more information about Leadership Steps UK, visit, or contact Delroy Davis on 07958 905797 or email



The Ransom AME Zion Church is a Christian religious institution committed to preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ, proclaiming truth, righteous living and justice to all. Our church is engaged in providing services that support our core values. To that end, we are engaged in supporting education, social reform and community empowerment. As a church closely linked to the Black and Minority Ethnic communities, issues of racial and social equality are critically important to us.

 Keep The Faith: Can you tell me why you have chosen to join the Synergy Network? How do you feel it will impact the community?

The Synergy Network presents to my church a viable, stable institution committed to similar ideals as our church. It draws on both practical Christian experience of the Ascension Trust, with current academic research, and works with local organisations to engage the social evils of youth crime in the capital, London. Finally, it believes in working collaboratively, as no one institution can address the problems we are seeking to deal with.

Rev Ronald A Nathan
Ransom African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
2A Mallinson Road, London SW11 1BP

Tel. No: 020 7738 2984/07342 109794/07932 022673


Facebook: Ransom Church

Rev Alton Bell, Denis Wade, Ben Lindsay


The Movement for Justice and Reconciliation was born out of a desire to draw public attention to one of the greatest injustices of our time: the legacy of chattel enslavement.  Britain transported millions of enslaved Africans to the New World, nearly 13% died on the Trans-Atlantic voyage. When slavery was abolished in 1833, £20 million was paid to the British Slave owners, which was 40% of the Government expenditure in 1834, the equivalent £17 billion today. This was finally paid off by the British taxpayers in 2015. Conversely, the slaves received not one penny. 200 years of silence and historical amnesia of the facts and effects of enslavement have kept the British public in ignorance. Our aim is to highlight yesterday’s injustices and today’s legacy, by sailing a replica slaveship, ‘The Zong’, around former slave ports of Britain in 2019, to set in motion projects to effect community change.

Keep The Faith:  Can you tell me why you have chosen to join the Synergy Network? How do you feel it will impact the community?

 Alton Bell: One of the avowed aims of ‘The Synergy Network’ is to encourage people and organisations to work together. This involves sharing their successes and experiences, which provides longevity for the projects they are promoting, and endeavour that the work they do is sustained so it can grow and develop.  Furthermore, by working together, we can avoid the pitfalls of duplication, and enjoy the benefits of being under an ever expansive tent. Being able to pool resources will enable organisations like Movement for Justice and Reconciliation to piggyback off local groups, who are already known in their community, and thus enable societal change to occur at a greater rate.

For more information about the Movement for Justice and Reconciliation, visit or contact Rev Alton Bell, Chair E:

T: 07935 046642



Micah Community Church is a contemporary and progressive Christian charity and church. At the heart of our organisation is a passion to equip and empower communities. This vision drives everything we do. We are active in the community and promote social action, community empowerment and social inclusion.

As a vibrant, growing body of people committed to sharing our faith in action, Micah Church is the lifeblood of our ongoing work to achieve our vision. All of church life is founded on a belief in God’s ability and passion to save and transform the lives of people, and to join forces with other people to help bring about that transformation.

Micah believes in synergy and working together to achieve a common goal, and it is currently part of the Transform Network, a network of churches in Lewisham.  Being part of a larger network, such as Synergy, would be an awesome opportunity for partnership work.

Micah’s current projects:

Life Skills and Work Preparation programmes for Young People, 11–18 years


Long and short-term goal-setting/planning


Building self-esteem and confidence


Music and Creative Arts for Young People, 11–14 years

Learning to play a musical instrument


Poetry and creative words

The art of creativity


Team Building – performing in ensembles


Cheer – Parenting Alone

Supporting lone parents – compassionate

A listening ear – through a dedicated phone line

Providing toys, books and clothes – practical support

Regular social meet-ups – friendship groups

Free Sunday lunches

Free days out for children


Micah is based at 8 Belmont Hill, Lewisham SE13 5BD, and opening times are Tuesday-Friday, 10am to 5pm.

For more information, visit, telephone 0208 237 5287, or email


Twitter @micahchurch

Facebook micahcommunitychurch

Instagram micahcommunity



Most of the work Power The Fight does is with churches, faith groups and community organisations that want to be equipped to engage with youth violence issues in their context. We do this in a number of ways:

  1. Training and workshops

At Power the Fight, we have access to the leading thinkers and practitioners from a range of disciplines working in the field of youth violence.

We want to see organisations and communities better trained and equipped to make a difference to young people’s lives.

  1. Resources

At Power The Fight we have developed a collection of resources to help churches, and faith and community groups to better understand the youth violence issue. These include specialist PowerTalks, links to helpful websites and toolkits.

  1. Building Connections

At Power The Fight we bring community and faith groups together with local authorities, services, and other partners to promote mutuality, improve cohesion and effect change. For more information on how we can serve you, go to Bespoke Programmes.

Keep The Faith: Can you tell me why you have chosen to join the Synergy Network? How do you feel it will impact the community? Having a collective response to issues such as youth violence can be a positive thing. The idea of great minds and big hearts working together to create a holistic approach to problems that disproportionately impact the Black community and sharing best practice can make a sustained difference.

 For more information, visit or email Twitter: powerthefightuk, Instagram: powerthefightuk










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