On the day that many people observed two minutes silence to remember the soldiers across the world who have fallen on countless battlegrounds, I saw a strange parallel when I stumbled across a Facebook page for ‘Gangsline’.
‘Gangsline’ does what it says on the tin. It’s a helpline for people who are in a gang and want to leave but can’t.
The comparison was not lost on me. Many youth who join gangs refer to themselves as ‘soldiers’. Those involved in gangs in Jamaica or Sierra Leone or others countries where there is profound poverty and political instability, are sometimes genuine paid up members of the military. Gang membership can literally save lives, when favours are traded in blood.
But, in non life-threatening situations why are so many UK youth still signing up to gangland culture? There’s already been acres written about this and days of debate have raged and sadly, tears continue to be shed at the loss of young lives. Potential and promise snuffed out.
On a reflective day, whatever lure of the gang is to the impressionable mind, I think ‘Gangsline’ is a force for good, especially if in small baby steps, the mindset of gang culture begins the process of deconstruction.
‘In a gang… want to leave but can’t call gangsline free on 0800 032 9538 where advisors are waiting to help!!’
Background Information: Gangsline is a confidential telephone helpline service totally dedicated to supporting gang members, victims of gang violence, communities and families whose lives have been affected by gang culture.
The helpline is manned by trained volunteer counsellors who specialise in gang culture and its effects. It offers practical advice and support.
Gangsline is part of the Helping Hand Trust.
Please note, I am in no way involved with this organisation, so please contact them directly if you have any questions.