At 6pm on Friday 18 May at the Chandos Centre, Stratford, Stephen Timms MP met with YoungStars – a dynamic group of youngsters on a mission of positivity and unity.
Through ‘Positive Peer Pressure’ they aim to unite the optimistic and peaceful majority of young people, and present a show of unity against the minority of young people who have made the news rioting, looting and fighting. In this ambitious project young people who have committed crimes, as well as victims, witnesses or people otherwise affected by crime are brought together.
The project aims to inspire as many youngsters as possible to believe that they can realise their potential and become YoungStars. The group is currently working with their partners – Catalyst in Communities, Khulisa UK, Community Links, Wimpy and Earth Champions – to provide work for young people through creating social enterprises and jobs. As the YoungStars put it ‘Nothing Stops a Yob Like a Job!’ This catchy slogan and their winning business plan also won the YoungStars an enterprise competition run by the University of East London as part of Global Enterprise Week.
Speaking after the event, Mr Timms said: ‘I was very pleased to talk with the YoungStars, and I admire their ambition and drive. We had a great conversation about how best to overcome the challenges facing young people. They are standing up to gang culture, aggression and apathy by creating something that they and their peers can really believe in. The YoungStars are brave and inspirational, and they are working towards a better future for themselves and their peers.’