Header image courtesy of Conflict Resolutions/LS2Y
By Olivia Russell
After the success of their first annual conference last year, Conflict Resolutions (a subdivision of Local Services 2 You) are set to host their second annual Youth Crime Conference, taking place on Friday, October 4th 2019, in the Oastler lecture theatre at The University of Huddersfield.
The conference is to take place from 10 am-2:30 pm, with a 1-hour interval.
The event is part of a wider strategy that will address youth crime and youth issues, discussing ways forward, whilst identifying solutions and resolving conflicts. Some main topics to be discussed are gang culture, knife crime and post-code wars.
Young people attending will hear about some of the long-term consequences of being involved in crime and violence, and learn about the institutional and societal factors that gravitate young people towards being associated with gangs.
It will highlight the epidemic of knife crime in Kirklees, as well as reinforcing the need for early intervention in rehabilitating young people and offering them alternatives to a life of crime.
There will be a mixture of national and local speakers at the conference, including a showcase of local talent; with live performances from musicians, spoken word artists and rappers.
The Lighthouse Church Choir are to open the conference at 10:00 am, followed by a speech from the Chancellor of The University of Huddersfield, Bob Cryan.
The event is free, as cost shouldn’t be a barrier that disenfranchises anyone from attending. There are around 250-300 spaces, with seats going quickly.
If you are interested in reserving a spot, book with Eventbrite through the applicable link below:
A free buffet and refreshments will be provided for attendees.
Howard Belafonte, organiser of the Youth Crime Conference and Director of Conflict Resolutions believes in promoting anti-gang rhetoric and reinforcing community cohesion.
He says: “Every negative action has a negative consequence, our aim is to discourage young people, deterring them away from a life of crime”.
“It is easy for professionals and government bodies to sit back and commentate, but who is addressing it? If we save one young person from a life of crime then we have actually achieved something, we have encouraged young people into employment and higher-education, who otherwise had no prospects of that”.
Conflict Resolutions recognises the local services that have withdrawn, changed or restructured in the community, and are filling that void to work with young people and their families to help re-stabilise their future and encourage them to make positive life choices.
“Our long-term ambitions are to go into the judicial system, extending our work at Conflict Resolutions to the criminal justice program. We are working towards going into prisons and speaking to young offenders, whilst partnering with other youth-orientated groups to maximise our services and make a difference”.
In attendance, there will be four Kirklees schools Conflict Resolutions work with, as well as representatives from Kirklees Council, West Yorkshire Police, community groups and the NHS.
Each speaker will have a questions and answers session during their allocated time slot, where the audience will have an opportunity to ask panellists questions.
The conference is to help connect with grassroots and third-sector organisations, to open a dialogue about youth issues and build relationships in the local community. An opportunity to network and understand the work of external agencies.
Belafonte also commented: “Hosting the second annual Youth Crime Conference at the University opens doors and raises aspirations for the young people in attendance. Inviting them to an inclusive higher-education environment makes them feel inclined to make certain changes”.
If anyone would like additional information regarding the conference, contact Howard Belafonte directly on 07714743405 or via email on email@example.com.