Updated: Apr 19
Beverley Glean MBE, CEO & Artistic Director, IRIE! dance theatre
It is with great sadness, that I am sharing this tragic news. On Wednesday, April 13th 2022, just before 4pm, there was a fatal stabbing of a young man aged 16 outside Moonshot. We inside the building and members of the public looked on anxiously, while we all witnessed a skilled team of paramedics carry out lifesaving procedures, which ultimately failed to save the energy of a spirit at the early stages of becoming.
I have no idea of the backstory, of this young man. But in that long-moment I thought, this is someone’s son, someone’s friend, possibly someone’s brother, cousin, nephew… However, what was at the front and centre of my mind was ‘that could have easily been my son’.
For us inside, circumstance meant no access to outside. So, from the centre of the building, some standing while others sat on the large wooden steps. We continued to watch in incredulity and sorrow, as more family, more friends, and more members of the community gathered. Making this situation more than a young man who has left us much too soon but about all our hopes and regrets.
We know this will have a devastating impact on the families of the victims, the perpetrator and the community as a whole. Our young people are dying needlessly. The number of teenage homicides in London was 30 in 2021, which is the largest death toll on record.
We don’t want to be breaking any more records. The issue has become so large it brings with it a sense of hopelessness. Still, this stabbing will bring to the forefront conversations about why this has happened again. Trained and untrained voices will tell us, it’s because of pressure on Children and Young Peoples (CYP) services, social media, rap music, more vulnerable and impressionable CYP… and the list goes on.
I too don’t have the answer, but serious change has to include all of the above and more. Supporting young people has to be sustained long-term and parents have to be empowered working in partnership with schools, the local authority, police and other agencies to make a difference.
RIP Teon Campbell-Pitter