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Pastor launches initiative to combat knife crime

BIG HOPES: Ben Lindsay aims to prevent violence crime

THERE ARE Christians who care deeply about young people and the knife crime and gang crisis that has taken some of them out of this world before their time. Ben Lindsay is one of them.

Ben is a 40-year-old pastor who leads two churches, Emmanuel Church London in Greenwich and Emmanuel Church, New Cross with 20 years experience of youth work.

He recently launched a charity called Power The Fight to combat knife crime.

He told Soul Stirrings: “The whole philosophy behind Power The Fight is that we are trying to equip and to empower the community around us to be the answer to ending youth violence. There are a few ways we are looking to do that.”

One way Power The Fight is aiming to do so is via workshops for churches and parents keen to be part of the solution. The first one takes place on March 7 in south London.

Ben will be joined by Temi Mwale, award winning founder of youth charity 4Front Project and together, they will run a training session giving attendees insight into the youth crime landscape as well as share strategies that communities can implement to help bring about it’s end.

Subsequent workshops will be held on a monthly basis and issues covered will include safeguarding youth, parenting, gangs, crime and much more.

The charity will also use podcasts and videos to share information and aims to offer counselling and financial support to families. Ben explained: “I’ve had to bury and work with people who have lost young people. In the direct aftermath of a young person being murdered, once the headlines go you have a family who is traumatised that has to deal with financial issues and where do they go?

“There’s a desire and need for therapeutic care and mental health support, but there are two problems – it can be expensive and some therapeutic care and mental health services are not always culturally competent. Because of these reasons we want to create a service where we link people with counsellors for free.

“We also want to be able help with funeral costs and help families who have to support their children in court.”

Ben has big aims for Power The Fight. He currently runs it by himself but has hopes for it to not only grow organically but to be around a long time. And as a Christian leader he believes the church has a major part to play in ending youth violence.

“I see the church as part of the solution,” he says.

“I see a church that needs to be mobilised into understanding what the youth violence issues is about and if they can be mobilised and if they can be equipped and if we can be in a position of saying that we have got buildings and people and experts in our field, and we have money as well – who steps in the place – the church can make a massive different.”

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