Lives not Knives, Centrale, Croydon

15 Jan 2015

As a property and investment company, we are aware of how important it is to establish good relationships within the communities in which our developments are located. We continue to support local organisations and charities, to ensure positive outcomes for all stakeholders in our local communities.

As part of Croydon Partnership, we are proud to support Lives Not Knives in their ongoing work towards tackling knife crime and promoting positive self- development. The campaign, founded in 2007 by 14 year old Eliza Rebiero, was set up as a result of the increase in knife crime and rising knife and gang culture particularly among young people.

At present, the charity occupies a vacant retail unit at Centrale Shopping Centre, Croydon. The Lives Not Knives unit is an innovative one stop shop for young people providing educational workshops, code-club training and employment & training advice which can be used to help those not in education, employment or training (NEETs) get into work.

As well as providing the unit, the Croydon Partnership provides other in kind support in the form of speakers, space, funding, promotion and help with business planning.

Key Achievements

During the first year of LNKs activities, a number of young people have been supported and guided to set and achieve goals for Education, Employment or Training. The majority of these young people are referred to LNK by Jobcentre Plus, the Youth Offending Team and the Looked After Children Team, while a small number of young people walk into the LNK unit seeking advice and support.

  • Of the 141 young people supported in the first year of the unit being open, 61 were known to the criminal justice system and 50 of those (82%) have not reoffended since the completion of their work with the programme.
  • 109 of the 141 young people were able to secure full-time education or employment.
  • 34 young people were leaving care, 25 of them have secured either full-time education or employment.
  • Of the 55 young people in this breakdown, 53 are now in full-time education, providing an estimated annual saving of £157,016 in public spending.

These results are testament to the success of the programme since launching in 2007. The Croydon Partnership will continue to support the charity as it helps provide young people to develop skills and support for employment and training.

The economic benefits

Macmillan (2012)* states the annual costs of an 18-24 year old without employment to be:

  • JSA = £2746.56
  • ESA= £3496.20
  • Carers allowance = £2815.80
  • Housing benefit = £3120 (additional)
  • Housing benefit with child = £4680 (additional)

Preliminary figures based on LNK work have 52 young people in receipt of JSA, 3 of these received housing benefits and one further received housing benefits with child. Two further young people received ESA and one was in receipt of a Carers allowance.

Together these young people have annual costs of £143,341.12 (JSA), £6992.40 (ESA), £2815.80 (Carers), £9360 (housing) and £4680 (housing + child). The total cost over a year in benefits is £167,189.32.

Of the 55 young people in this breakdown, 53 are now in full-time education, providing an annual saving of £157,016.20.

*Macmillan, L., 2012. The cost of youth unemployment. In: Youth Unemployment: the crisis we cannot afford. ACEVO: London. Annex A.