In this world there are people that talk about making a change and there are people that make the change.
In Dover there are a group of people who are making the change. Families United are making sure that people understand the impact of gangs and what it is doing to our children. And they should know. These parents come together when society had given up on their children. When no one wanted to help and only to blame.
I meet some of the members of Family United when I delivered a presentation. They told me about what they do, and it blew me away. So, when they asked me to come and speak at an event for them, I was there…no questions asked. However, being a single mum means that timing is everything. The only date that we could all do was a Saturday evening.
Who’s going to come to a presentation training event on a Saturday night? Would you?
So, we planned, and we started putting the event out to people. Family’s united got the press involved and we shared the event all over social media. We invited one and all to come and take part in our Gang/Child exploitation awareness talk on the 8th of June.
When the day arrived and me and Anne Lamb arrived at the youth club in the middle of an industrial estate not sure who would turn up. I and one of the organisers had already said that if 5 turn up we have done well because getting the community involved is the hardest part. We had a few technical issues setting up, it was hot in the room we were using, and I was feeling stressed for Families United. I just wanted it to go well for them.
A few people started to come in and I thought…thank God…someone has turned up. I started getting my stuff ready and I was very aware that this hall was starting to feel very full. People just kept coming in! I stood at the back of the hall and thought …. wow…it’s a Saturday night and these people are here ..wanting to know. Looking for help.
By the time I stepped up to the stage the room was packed. I mean packed. There were people standing, people being squashed in last minute. I felt overwhelmed for a second. Delivering to a thousand professionals on a stage…done that. It was cool. No nerves really. But this was different. It has to be the most intimate presentation I have ever given. The front row was so close that I could have sat on their laps.
And suddenly I felt overwhelmed because these people were not here because their boss told them too. They were not here as part of their CPD. They were here because they want to be part of a change for our young people. For our community. And that means a lot to me.
And so we were off…..we had grime…we had a quiz…I accidentally hit a lady in the face with a packet of sweets (Soz)…we debated…we had a workshop….we talked about stuff that was very uncomfortable.
And we done it together. United.
During this time there was a man who had come in who seemed to know quite a lot about stuff that the others did not. When I asked the crowd how much they thought a £10 burner phone was worth (most said £10 of course) a deep voice came from beside me and said, “About 20 grand”. I slowly looked at the man who said this and thought…ok…. who’s this then. Its not often people stand out like that.
I was introduced to Nigel from Loud Impact. Nigel is someone who like Out of the Shadows, is trying to make a change. Is trying to use the negative in his life into a positive for others. I have heard his story and I must say that many people would benefit from listening to it also. I have asked him to write me a guest blog…so fingers crossed lol.
Family’s united have done something epic. They have taken all their hurt and pain and instead of being angry …they have come together to try and stop anyone else feeling the same pain. I’m not sure they know how amazing they all are. How they have done something that professionals struggle to do…. action instead of meeting after meeting.
So, follow them on social media…. support them…and learn from them. This group of people need every bit of support and funding they can to make the changes needed.
You did it families united. You got people together and you got them to listen. More than most professionals are doing. Big love
You can follow Families united Here
You can follow Loud Impact Here