Bicycle Activists with a difference:-
From the Waltham Forest Guardian:-
A TEAM of cyclists have been recruited to help tackle Muslim extremism and gang culture in Waltham Forest.
Two teams of four outreach workers will travel around Waltham Forest on their bikes to meet young people who they feel are at risk.
Charity the Active Change Foundation (ACF) works to prevent young people becoming involved in Muslim extremism and gang culture and it hopes to use Government money to roll the scheme out in neighbouring boroughs.
ACF’s projects and programme director Hanif Qadir said: “This initiative is unique because it goes a lot deeper than similar projects.
“Our youth outreach workers have experienced street life themselves and can relate to what young people are going through.
“The bikes mean that they can get around quickly, so we are hoping this initiative will be effective.”
One of the youth workers, Junaid Qadir, 19, said: “I was a gang member and I used to take drugs but I’ve managed to turn my life around.
“Having had these experiences is going to help me to relate to young people who may be going through the same things I did.”
Another outreach worker Javid Rehman, 42, added: “What we will try and do is to encourage young people to use our youth club to get them off the streets.”
He said the team had already had some early success.
An elderly woman complained to him about a group of teenagers hanging around outside the flat where she lived.
The team approached them and told them about the ACF youth club which includes pool tables, a Nintendo Wii, Play Stations and a football table.
The woman later contacted the ACF to say the youths were spending so much time in its youth centre they were no longer congregating outside her flat.