Students at Barnsley College had the opportunity to take part in a range of crime and justice workshops, guest speakers and inspirational talks as part of the College’s crime and justice week.
The main highlight of the week was a down-to-earth talk by Hanif Mohammed, Assistant Manager of In2Change, who talked to students about serving a lengthy prison sentence and how he has changed his life around to successfully deliver interventions to over 15,000 young people.
Hanif said: “It’s important to talk to students in order to challenge the negative attitudes and misconceptions that students have towards education and a life of crime. I believe in the learner voice, and it’s vital to talk to students about crime and anti-social behaviour and, in doing so, help them overcome any personal barriers they are facing.”
Speaker Gavin McKenna spoke of his first-hand experience of gang culture; Gavin has quickly established himself as a leading figure in combating gang culture in London.
Theatre group Odd Arts provided a performance-based workshop using professional actors and specialist facilitators to explore key issues around exploitation and serious youth violence.
Roger Cheetham, an attempted murder survivor, drew on his own experiences and helped students see how the tools, techniques and methodologies he has used, has given him the resilience to overcome his traumatic past.
Former Rugby star Allen Langham shared his inspirational journey of how he overcame adversity and a life of crime to become the successful and professional person he is today.
Jimmy Parkin, Cultural Capital Co-ordinator at Barnsley College, added: “For the week we facilitated a number of guest speaker sessions and workshops along the theme of Crime and Justice to highlight and educate our students on various crime-related issues, such as ‘county lines’, a very real and prominent issue with young people currently.
“We engaged with a large number of students throughout the week and the feedback we have received has been overwhelmingly positive.”