On Wednesday 25th November, members of Haringey Citizens, a local alliance of faith and education groups, launched a new CitySafe Zone on West Green Road. The CitySafe scheme is a youth-led campaign run by Haringey Citizens that seeks commitments from shopkeepers to offer their premise as a safe haven for anyone who feels in immediate danger. This campaign was started in Tottenham after the riots and there are CitySafe Zones in Tottenham, Bounds Green and now West Green.
Students of St John Vianney Primary School have led the campaign over the last 12 months. They listened to local shopkeepers, residents and other young people about safety in and around West Green Road.
The West Green Safer Neighbourhood Team joined the event and supported students, parents and parishioners from St John Vianney to place the 'CitySafe' stickers in the windows of participating shop owners including a newsagent, barbers and Italian restaurant.
Kwame, Student at St John Vianney Primary School, said:
“We decided that travelling to and from school could be dangerous so we wanted to do something about it. We went to different shops along West Green Road to ask if they would be involved in our CitySafe scheme.”
Tagharty, Student at St John Vianney Primary School, said:
“A CitySafe Zone is a community that wants to collaborate with the young people of their area to make sure they are safe when travelling places by themselves. We were given certificates by the Haringey Borough Commander, Victor Olisa, for our commitment to the CitySafe campaign.”
Nuala Kennedy, Acting Headteacher, St John Vianney Primary School said:
“Working on the CitySafe campaign has given the students of St John Vianney Primary School an opportunity to develop their leadership and strengthen relationships in our community while making a tangible change to the issue of safety in our neighbourhood”
Earlier this year, other members of Haringey Citizens, launched 639 as a CitySafe Haven with support from Ledley King, Tottenham Hotspur football player and Yvonne Lawson. The stickers across Haringey CitySafe Zones are dedicated to Yvonne Lawson’s son Godwin, who was fatally stabbed in 2010.
The scheme, run by charity Citizens UK, and supported by Mayor Boris Johnson, organisers hope that the scheme will help to repair relationships between young people, business leaders and the police in the borough.
Sophie Stephens, Lead Organiser for Haringey Citizens, said:
“CitySafe campaign is a great opportunity for young people to work alongside the Safer Neighbhourhood Team and local shopkeepers. It enables them to develop their leadership skills and ensures our borough is developing trust between all parts of the community who are, together, making our streets safer”