Sadiq Khan awards Hornchurch charity £14,000 in bid to reduce knife crime in Havering

Members of the You and Me Counselling team. Photo by You and Me Counselling

Members of the You and Me Counselling team. Photo by You and Me Counselling - Credit: You and Me Counselling

A Hornchurch charity has been awarded £14,000 from Sadiq Khan to try and reduce knife crime in Havering.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan with Labour Party members and supporters.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan with Labour Party members and supporters. - Credit: Archant

You and Me Counselling is based in North Street and received a share of the £1.15 million funding pledged by the Mayor of London for anti-knife crime projects,

The charity was started in 2011 and is a a counselling and psychotherapy service that works with children, young people, adults and their families in Havering, Barking and Dagenham, Redbridge and Waltham Forest.

Counsellors and therapists work both within schools and from their offices in Hornchurch.

In addition to the work it does in schools, in 2016 the charity successfully tendered for, and became a part of the Havering Council Brokerage Scheme to supply counselling services to all schools in Havering.

Bolaji Olagunju, manager at the centre said that she hopes they will be able to reduce knife crime in Havering thanks to the funding.

She said: “It’s very good news.

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“It is very very good, and it can make a real difference in the borough.

“I think it will help stop young people from joining gangs and carrying knives and guns.

“We will be able to let them know that there’s other things they can do.

“It is a real problem.

“We can go into schools and educate children and show them that there are other things out there.

“They don’t need to resort to crime.”

Responding to the announcement London Assembly Member Tom Copley AM said:

“This announcement dispels recent insinuations made in the press that the Mayor’s action on knife crime is limited to an ad campaign.

“By funding another 34 grassroots community initiatives across London as part of his Knife Crime Strategy, Sadiq Khan is taking concrete steps to prevent further tragedies from taking place on our streets.

“Our community is amongst those that will benefit, with funding being granted to You and Me Counselling in Havering.

“Early intervention projects play an essential part in stemming the culture of violence in our capital. It empowers young people and enhances community cohesion. “The reality is that the Mayor has had to plug the gap left by deep and sustained cuts to youth services made by the Government over the last 8 years.

“Under the current mayoralty, we have the first ever dedicated Knife Crime Strategy, alongside the investment of an extra £110 million in the Met to sustain police numbers.

“Meanwhile, today’s funding will go towards stopping the most vulnerable kids in our community becoming caught up in crime.

“The criticisms that have come out against the Met and the Mayor in recent days are evidently unfounded, when the Government have continually refused to properly fund our police, even in a time of crisis.”