StreetDoctors Panel Discussion

Youth Violence & a Poverty of Hope: What Needs to Change?

A panel discussion

Before lockdown we bought together an expert panel to discuss youth violence. This discussion brings refreshing insights on the issues facing young people and what we can do to give them a better future, away from crime and violence. The COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating many of the factors that cause youth violence, so now more than ever it is vital we  listen to our young people to find solutions. Our amazing panellists: Queenie Chizea, Dr John Chatterjee, Zimbo Freemind, Olu Sowemimo and Chantal Rees speak out in this fascinating and highly relevant discussion.

Watch the full panel below:

The panellists:

Olu Sowemimo

When I was 14, I joined gang culture in Brixton, and was involved in youth violence and county lines. 3 months before my GCSE’s I got my first 1-year prison sentence for county lines dealing. I was released in 2009, 3 months later I was back in prison and was in and out for a few years. Some of the time I was there I spent some of my time doing education courses when I was allowed to do this. After I came out I volunteered for different causes including working for Victim Support. I worked in the fashion industry for a while but left this career last year as I wanted to devote myself to using my lived experience to help others. I am now involved in building a movement to tackle youth violence with the mission of ‘Nothing Without Young People’, and I also work in Southwark for an anti-violence unit working with a range of partners to reduce violence amongst young people. Twitter @createdbyolu Instagram @createdbyolu

Queenie Chizea

Queenie is a peer outreach worker at the Greater London Authority (Mayor of London’s Office) and in the last year she has been involved with amazing projects, transforming the life of young Londoners. She is also the Marketing & Communications Manager at Legacy Youth Zone. The past five years, she’s worked with various organisations such as being a Shadow Board Trustee for the NSPCC, Croydon youth cabinet member, children in care council and young ambassador for OnSide and Legacy Youth Zone, she was involved in the development of the first three OnSide Youth Zones in London and a board member at Croydon Drop In.

She has spoken to individuals, councils, leaders and organisations across the country about the importance of young people in today’s society given her experience being in Foster Care and homelessness. She enjoys celebrating young people and their importance in our society as she believes that young people are not just the leaders of tomorrow but of today. She also studies interior architecture at the University of the Arts London, Chelsea and is a student ambassador, helping with summer schools and speaking to young people about higher education. Twitter @queenietweets_ Instagram @queeniechizea_

Simeon Moore aka Zimbo Freemind

Zimbo is a writer, musician and advocate for young people. He was a member of a notorious Birmingham gang and now works to tackle what he sees as the glamorisation of gang culture, which gives young people aspirations to live negatively. He brings vision, creativity and influence to positively impact on their lives. Zimbo and co-founder Dylan Duffus created DatsTV, a new YouTube channel aiming to challenge, and provide an alternative to those channels and music videos that glamorise gun and knife-culture and to encourage young people to walk away from gang violence. Twitter @Zimbosla Instagram @zimbo_freemind

Chantal Rees

Chantal is a fourth-year medical student studying at the University of Sheffield. During her intercalation studying Global and Public Health in East London, Chantal started volunteering for StreetDoctors and developed a research interest in youth violence, harm reduction and drugs education. As part of her research she was fortunate enough to work with a wide range of professionals, and collate qualitative evidence surrounding the risk factors of violence that contributed towards Tower Hamlets’ violence reduction JSNA. She went on to work as the Expansion officer for StreetDoctors last summer, identifying areas across England where StreetDoctors could have a further positive impact. Chantal has continued her journey with StreetDoctors as Sheffield Team Leader and enjoys working with local partners to increase the team’s reach to young people at risk of youth violence across South Yorkshire. Instagram @sheffieldstreetdoctors

Dr John Chatterjee

John is a Consultant in Prehospital Care with London’s Air Ambulance; he has been involved in prehospital trauma care for over 2 decades. He is an anaesthetic consultant at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust with an interest in difficult airway and major trauma management. He is also a major incident medical advisor for London Ambulance Service and has worked for air ambulances in Australia, New Zealand and in the UK, as well as BASICS, motorsport and event medicine. He is a clinical tutor for The Institute of Pre-Hospital Care at London’s Air Ambulance and is proud to be involved in mentoring the next generation. Twitter @JohnChatterbox

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