Youth Unemployment and Crime Scene Tower Hamlets

Gangs – Tower Hamlets – Rethink!

Unemployment and gangs in the borough are not the worst but this data is skewed by the success of the Financial Sector and the general White ethnic background. In contrast, youth unemployment, the Bangladeshi and Other Black backgrounds are among the worst for unemployment.

Funded by the East End Community Foundation to make a sustainable change to unemployment by targeting young people from households with intergeneration worklessness, developing their skills and supporting them into EET.

To achieve this, we used football as a vehicle to engage and develop young people between the ages of 14 and 19, associated with a gang. The key stages were:

  • Detached Youth Work: We engaged young people by delivering sessions on estates, targeting young people associated with gang activities.
  • Personal Development: By conducting mental health and needs assessments, we identified barriers preventing social development. Using key working and group work, we ensured all needs were met or had started a process of recovery.
  • Physical Development: Through practice and match days, we addressed aggression, teamworking and emotional behaviour.
  • Skill Development: Alongside football, we supported each young person to gain their first accreditation to develop their motivation and support their transition to employment and reduce youth unemployment.
  • Positive Pathways: These activities, focussed on the skills required to access their chosen pathways (e.g. CVs and interview skills). We also supported each young person to access employment by the end of the project, therefore, reducing youth unemployment and gangs.

This was not the first time YOH has worked with the East London Community Foundation. Previously, we used a similar model to reach different groups of young people


  • 32 Ex-offenders engaged

  • 32 Took part in regular exercise

  • 31 Gained their first accreditation

  • 31 Accessed sustainable employment

  • 0 Re-offended


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