Leap Confronting Conflict Lifeline


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Leap Confronting Conflict

Brooke Kinsella makes an appeal to raise funds for Leap Confronting Conflict, a charity which teaches young people to resolve conflict without violence.


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My 16-year-old brother, Ben,

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was just walking home one night when he was singled out and stabbed.

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He died in hospital later that night.

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Ben was one of over 100 teenagers that died in the UK

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as a result of youth violence between 2008 and 2010.

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Ever since his death, my family and I

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have been campaigning for an end to knife crime.

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I don't want anyone else to experience the pain

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and loss that we feel through losing Ben.

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Josh is 19 and lives in south London.

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From an early age, his parents had high hopes for him.

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I was quite good at school. I was always in the top set.

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Going on to secondary school,

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I was still in the top set. I was a high achiever.

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But he was expelled from school

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after a fight just before he was due to sit his exams.

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When I got kicked out I tried to apply for other schools

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so I could take my GCSEs, because I was expecting very high grades.

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But no other schools would accept me.

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Pretty much, I found myself doing nothing, really,

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just hanging around with friends that was in the same position.

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I didn't really know what to do with myself

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Feeling angry and rejected, Josh started to lose his way.

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I found that I got really deep into gangs, street crime...

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And then I started getting into mischief.

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So, like, I found that I had to protect myself,

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so I would have offensive weapons.

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I'd be involved in a lot of fights

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and I just felt like my life was going downhill.

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There's a charity that understands how easily arguments

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can escalate into violence, and how hard it can be for young people

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to escape from this seemingly one-way track.

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Leap Confronting Conflict, known to many simply as Leap, works with young people

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to help them understand the causes and consequences of conflict,

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teaching them ways to resolve situations without violence.

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The charity runs a series of youth-led workshops,

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using discussions and role-play to teach young people

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about the roots of conflict and how to tackle them

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in a constructive way.

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So can we just get in a line?

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Exercises include exploring how simple changes of language

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can stop aggression.

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You're going up to your neighbour's door

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and you're going to start off

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saying "you" in all your sentences. OK? So, one, two, three, go!

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22-year-old Karl grew up in London, where he was exposed

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to the reality of inner-city life.

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Drugs, violence, knives, erm...

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And I got caught up in a situation where I got excluded from school

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and I was sent to a pupil referral unit

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where I was exposed to it even more, on a wider scale.

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And it kind of scared me,

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to be fair, because deep down I wasn't that sort of person.

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Leap works with people as young as 11, going into schools

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and communities around the UK.

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We're going to do this again, but use the exact same scenario

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but what you're going to do is start every sentence with "I."

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role-plays deal with a range of issues which can trigger anger

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and explore non-violent ways to resolve them.

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OK, so what was the difference for you?

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I wasn't so aggressive. I was quite withdrawn.

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-When it was "I" I kept calming down.

-OK.

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Breaking things down makes you realise

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there are right and wrong choices.

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The workshops have changed me, where I think a lot more

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before I act.

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They've made me think before I speak as well

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and I kind of go through a thought process in my head

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of the decisions I make - how they're going to affect myself

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later on down the line, also the people around me.

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Karl is now setting up his own project,

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going into primary schools

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and passing on his knowledge to kids in trouble

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and getting them back into school.

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Leap sees young people as the solution to the difficulties

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communities are facing - not the problem.

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This is why the charity established its Young Trainers programme,

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where the most promising 18-to-25-year-olds are recruited

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and trained to deliver the workshops themselves.

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Like Jerusha.

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From the age of 12, she was a young carer for her mother

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and two younger brothers.

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When Jerusha was struggling to cope, a project leader at her school

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suggested she try Leap.

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Jerusha excelled at the Leap programme and was invited back

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to join the Young Trainers scheme.

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So what I see, basically, from this,

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-is it gets them to start thinking about what a vicious cycle is.

-Yeah.

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'It helped me understand a lot about my own personal conflict.'

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It built my confidence up, because

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I never thought I'd be able to stand in front of 30 people,

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telling them what to do!

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It's kind of very... yeah, empowering.

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In today's workshop, Jerusha is using a game to teach

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the young people how to escape the cycle of violence.

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The jailer with the empty chair is going to wink at a prisoner

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and they're going to come and grab this seat.

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Oh!

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Jailers, if you manage to tap them on the shoulder,

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they're staying in the chair - they're not moving anywhere.

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LAUGHTER

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Jerusha now works as a freelance Young Trainer for Leap,

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passing on what she has learnt to other young people.

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OK, guys, let's call it a wrap. Well done!

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APPLAUSE

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These lessons empower the young people

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to make positive changes to their lives.

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What would you say to someone who kept on trying to escape

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-but never did?

-Try harder.

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Try harder? Give up? So why would you say try harder and why would...

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The charity knows those who work with young people directly

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can make the biggest impact.

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So Leap works with police officers, teachers and youth workers

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in the most troubled parts of the UK,

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training them to tackle the causes of knife crime.

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These programmes can make a real difference.

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From 2009, the charity provided training

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to Strathclyde Police around gangs

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and in the next year, violent crime in that area was almost halved.

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What would happen if we just stayed where we are?

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For the past three years,

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Leap has reached over 20,000 young people like Josh.

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I've come to see how he has been getting on

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since finishing the Youth Conflict programme.

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Two, three years ago, I was living a quite rough lifestyle.

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Now I've started my own business.

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It's in the clubbing industry and it's running very well now.

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I recently passed an electrician's course,

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so I'm a fully qualified electrician

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and I'm self-employed and I'm getting paid work from Leap.

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That's amazing.

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So you're obviously in a really good place now.

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Where do you think you would be if Leap hadn't come along

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and helped you?

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I could have been dead. I could have been in jail.

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Leap has been changing young people's lives for 25 years

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and we need this work to continue.

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As someone who has personally experienced the tragic consequences

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of youth violence, I am asking you to donate to this appeal.

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By giving more young people the opportunity to learn

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that violence is not the only option,

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your donation could help prevent more young lives being lost.

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Please donate, by going to the website:

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If you don't have access to the internet, please call:

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If the lines are busy, please, please keep trying.

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Calls are free from most landlines.

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Some networks and mobile operators

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will charge for these calls.

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If you'd like to post a donation,

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please make your cheque payable to

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"Leap Confronting Conflict"

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and send it to:

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Remember, if you're a UK taxpayer,

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the charity can collect Gift Aid

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on your donation, worth another 25%.

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Just send a note, to say you want

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your donation to be subject

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to Gift Aid, and include the date,

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your full name and address.

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Thank you.

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Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

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Email [email protected]

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Ex-EastEnders actress Brooke Kinsella makes an emotional appeal to raise funds for Leap Confronting Conflict, a charity which teaches young people how to resolve conflict without resorting to violence. It is a cause close to her heart, since her younger brother Ben Kinsella was murdered in London three years ago, a victim of the capital's knife crime. Ben was just walking home one night when he was singled out and stabbed; he died in hospital that night. He was one of over 100 teenagers that died as a result of youth violence between 2008 and 2010. Brooke meets Josh, a young man who turned away from gang life and is now a successful entrepreneur, thanks to the help of Leap.