Prince Charles launches campaign to stop young people joining gangs
11:59 17 November 2013
Prince Charles is launching a campaign to get more youngsters into structured activities in a bid to curb gang violence.
In an article in the Mail on Sunday, he says he often reflects on the courage shown by Barry and Margaret Mizen, whose teenage son Jimmy was murdered in 2008.
The Prince of Wales said: “In my opinion, tragedies such as the murder of Barry and Margaret’s son are the extreme result of too many young people no longer guided through a rite of passage; young people who would benefit from the guidance and help of organisations such as the Guides, Scouts, cadets and other youth organisations.
“However, these are all groups which are hampered in their growth by a lack of adult volunteers.”
Charles said this week at Buckingham Palace he would join the leaders of Britain, including the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition, plus 50 young people, to launch a pledge campaign through a collaborative youth initiative called Step Up 2 Serve.
The Prince, who turned 65 this week, said speaking with the Mizens and members of Families United, a group for parents whose children have been killed by gang violence, made him even more determined to start a long-term leadership campaign.
He added: “This kind of initiative can help to provide a constructive team-based substitute for destructive gang violence, so that no more families like the Mizens should have to suffer such untold misery in the future.”
Charles said he wants to inspire 50 per cent of people aged between 10 and 20 to volunteer and get involved with helping others.
“Young people have an immense contribution to make to society, but we are failing to do enough to unlock their talent to help tackle all sorts of challenges,” the Prince wrote.