Edmonton Youth Flock to Education Debate

British Transport Police, encouraging young people, long term priority, Police detention officer, young people,

Thursday 6th June 2013

When 177 young people, aged 15 – 23, elect to attend a serious debate on education and making your way in the world on a rare summery Sunday afternoon, clearly something special is going on.

The occasion was the ‘Where U Going? Event’ organised by the Victory Youth Group (VYG) that took place at the UCKG HelpCentre in Edmonton on June 2. The Mayor of Enfield, Cllr Chaudhury Anwar MBE was guest of honour and a dozen high achievers including Edmonton residents from a variety of different occupations were present to answer questions from the audience.

Cllr Anwar complimented everyone concerned, saying: “I think I found life here” and adding that it is important to have challenges in life, to be well organised and to rely on no one but yourself. Commitment and focused, practical determination are vital, he explained.

The debate, co-presented by Youth Leader Michael Osei and Sashawna Ellis one of the members of the VYG assisted by Charles and Laura Buyombo, covered five propositions, including ‘School uniform helps children to focus on their school work?’ ‘Are university fees too high?’ and ‘Experience vs. qualifications’.

Michael Osei then interviewed the professional achievers, including optometrist/entrepreneur Gary Kousoulou; life coach and NLP4Kids practitioner Grace Bartholomew, British Transport Police detention officer Ann-Maria Kazisoz, music producers/sound engineers Daniel Conteh and Junior Kamara, and Sergeant Andre Smith from Edmonton Police Station. Questions from the floor followed.

The afternoon concluded with two songs and a short play – Time never fails – on the single theme of encouraging young people to manage their time well. All were written and performed by Edmonton youths. Priscilla Okpara and Sarah Oguri wrote and sang ‘Time never fails’, while Pierre Brown, Jay Williams, Marlon Jagdeo and Precious Abdulal did the same with ‘Living in life’.

The event was summed up by one of the adult guests. Adenike Oyelese, a Connexions Personal Adviser from Enfield described it as: “An inspirational event encouraging young people to keep their focus on their personal development regardless of the obstacles they may be facing”.

Sergeant Andre Smith and PCSO Danielle Allen from Edmonton Police Station were keen to remain in touch with Edmonton’s VYG as they were impressed and saw the benefits of its youth work.


Notes to editors

UCKG is a Christian church and registered charity that offers a range of practical support activities alongside spiritual support and comfort and welcomes all-comers. It reached the UK in 1995 and has gone from strength to strength, providing support and spreading the Christian faith. There are UCKG HelpCentre branches in England and Wales.

The UCKG HelpCentre’s youth group, VYG, is a major long term priority.  Designed for 15 – 23 year olds, the VYG provides the same family-style peer group support that attracts young people to gang life, but without the destructive behaviours.  Rather, it helps and encourages the young to be the best that they can be. 

For further information please contact the UCKG HelpCentre Press Officer via e-mail on press@uckgnew.org or direct line 020 7686 6033.

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