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February 2012

Girls Have Their Say Project – from vulnerable young women to strong young leaders

One of Arc’s three exciting new projects helping young women raise awareness and speak out about gang involvement, domestic violence and weapon crime…

The first stage of Arc’s new Home Office CAGGK funded film project – a creative youth support and leadership initiative dedicated to helping young women get away from gang involvement and to become young leaders – has just been completed and we are delighted to be hosting our Girls Have Their Say film launch and presentation evening on Thursday 1 March.

GHTS by Katie Snooks

Girls Have Their Say participants from LBBD schools
Images by Katie Snooks

GHTS by Katie Snooks

Filming with Grace Pluckrose-Oliver

GHTS by Katie Snooks

Background to the project

In November 2011, Arc began working with a group of up to 24 girls from the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham involved in, or at risk of being involved in gangs and violent crime. The project builds on Arc’s existing performance and workshop portfolio on youth violence (including Stereo, Boy X and Pact by Clifford Oliver), and particularly on the British Transport Police commissioned Girl E, which tours to youth settings commencing winter 2011 and explores all facets of girls and gangs.

Meeting weekly at The Malthouse Studios in Barking, Arc is using team-building activities and creative facilitation to develop a safe and non-judgemental environment, with participants working with professional drama and video artists to create a documentary film exploring their experiences of gang involvement, and the wider issues and implications of gang culture and youth violent crime today. The associated issues include violence against women, sexual abuse/exploitation, gender stereotyping, knife/gun crime, sexual health, teenage pregnancy, low self-esteem/confidence/bullying/peer-pressure, and how/why people have personally been affected by gangs and youth violence.

Girls Have Their Say runs until August 2012 and is financed by the Home Office through the Communities Against Gangs, Guns and Knives Fund

Home Office

About Communities against Gangs, Guns and Knives

The ‘Communities against Guns, Gangs and Knives’ (CAGGK) fund provides £4 million for the voluntary and community sector over the next two years; £2 million will be available during 2011/12 and a further £2 million during 2012/13. The fund is part of the £18 million package announced by the Home Office in February 2011, made available to police, local agencies and the voluntary and community sector to tackle gang and gun or knife related violence and to prevent young people from becoming involved in this area of crime.

The Fund targets males and females aged 10 to 19 years-old at risk of involvement in gang, gun and knife crime or to support those who are involved to leave. 199 organisations delivering 207 a wide and diverse range of project activities have been funded including: sport, multi-media, music, drama, art, educational courses, health, peer mentoring, parent groups, counselling, volunteering, work placements, accredited training, outreach, and residential activities. Each successful organisation will receive up to £10,000 each per year to prevent the involvement of teenagers in gun, gang and knife crime.

Starting soon …
Finding the Words

Funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Finding the Words is a brand new two-year public-speaking and media programme giving young women a confident and credible voice in the debate around gangs and youth violence, and a platform for developing positive lifestyles and healthy relationships.

Find out more about Finding the Words.

Paul Hamlyn Foundation

Girl E by Clifford Oliver, directed by Carole Pluckrose

'Girl E' performance in school

From gangster’s moll to the honey in the honey trap, young women have always been involved in gang crime. Some are willing participants, others may see little or no alternative. Whether we see them as victims or perpetrators, many of these women experience unimaginable levels of physical and sexual violence.

Commissioned by British Transport Police, Girl E is the third play in Arc’s acclaimed Blade Trilogy, following Boy X and Pact, written by Clifford Oliver and directed by Carole Pluckrose. It looks at the increasing number of young women who are becoming involved in gang activity, through the story of a 16 year-old girl who has experienced neglect, abuse and unspeakable degradation in her short life. With little parental support or guidance, she has found society in street gangs, reflecting the violence of her upbringing by committing violent acts against others. At a point in her life when she seeks to finally take control and change, can we offer her the support to do so?

Read more about Girl E

To find out more about Arc’s work on gangs and violent crime, email Carole Pluckrose or call Carole at Arc on 020 8594 1095.

Stop Press:

Tickets now available for An Evening with Neville Lawrence OBE, Patron of Arc

Thursday 23 February 2012 – 6:30pm for 7pm seating
Ripple Centre, 121 Ripple Road, Barking IG11 7FN