Article from the Metroploitan Police web site – Sept 2006
Sutton young people tackle drug related crime through art
A pilot initiative to tackle issues facing young people in Sutton through mixed media street art has been hailed a success.
The project, run by Sutton’s Youth Offending Team (YOT), focused on raising young people’s awareness of healthy lifestyles, through art, by exploring and examining issues such as exercise, drug misuse, offending, sexual health and education.
The young people worked with a professional artist to create original pieces of street art on issues they felt were important to them. They all included preventative messages to encourage other young people to lead healthier lives.
YOT manager Claudette Brown said, “the exhibition was a great example of how young people, when given the opportunities, can use their understanding and knowledge of healthy living to assist change in their own lives.”
“The initiative was designed to tackle drug related crime and associated behaviour by giving young people a chance to explore issues that mean a lot to them, in a creative and expressive way.”
“With this approach, a person, for example who is using or experimenting with drugs, is more open to understand the harm that can result and how they can cope with their problems.”
Throughout the programme, the participants had to document work in individual project portfolios, including sketches, designs, photos of their art work in progress and a short written piece about their work and its messages.
Miss Brown added, “We had wonderful comments from parents saying how positive the programme was for their children, especially the development of their artistic, group work, and interpersonal skills.”
Head of the Safer Sutton Partnership Warren Shadbolt added, “All the images in the exhibition are so powerful. They really express the myriad of issues young people are faced with today.
“We were very excited about funding this pilot initiative through the Sutton Partnership’s Stronger and Safer Communities Fund as it not only benefits the participants, but will help strengthen the wider community to resist drugs and act against drug misuse. The community will also benefit as a result of young people’s reduction in substance misuse and anti social behaviour”.
Article from the YJB news Sept/Oct 2006
Sutton shows Healthy Living art
An art exhibition was held recently at Sutton Central Library, to showcase the work of youngpeople from the Sutton Youth Offending Team.Nine young people participated in a series of Healthy Living Programmes over eight weeks,exploring issues such as substance misuse, lifestyle, crime and sexual health. Using street art and with the support of an artist, the young people were helped to express their feelings,experiences and knowledge of these issues.Their artwork communicates strong messages to encourage others to live healthier lives. At
the launch of the event, each young person was awarded with a certificate of their achievement. The Healthy Living Programme was run in partnership with the Safer Sutton