Two young people that I knew 10 years ago are now serving life sentences for murder.
When I worked in Holmewood many moons ago, I spent time with many challenging young people. Some properly engaged, some remained on the periphery. This weekend I came across an article that really shocked me.
Two of the young people I worked with 10 years ago are now serving life sentences for murder after a brutal attack involving acid. One of them in particular, Lee, was on the edge of a core group of lads I worked with for a 3 year period.
What a waste of life. This news has left me questioning myself in some way; Did I fail them? Could I have done more for them? They were challenging when I knew them, but capable of this?
On reflection, I thought about that group of boys who I worked with, some that I am still in contact with now. They have gone on to lead positive lives with families, jobs that they enjoy and aspirations for the future.
Were they any different to these two that have got it so badly wrong? They grew up in the same culture, same peer group. Yes, there were differences in family make-up but I believe that what we do can massively impact these young people’s futures.
We may never know our impact or what we have prevented. There are many other factors that contribute, but we can be the difference that changes the trajectory of the rest of their lives; a path of hope or a path of destruction.
The work of e:merge, and other youth organisations, is inspiring young people to see a different future and start walking towards it. We build up young people to choose the right path for themselves.
It is heartbreaking when they make bad choices. My prayers go out to the victims in this situation and for these two lost men who I knew as angry young boys. Please pray for the young people we serve to know they are loved and that they can have the resilience to thrive.
Tim Elgar, CEO