London, 14 September 2012 - Youth led charity Kids Count, supported by Sony, today attended the official opening of Sony DADC's new distribution centre - which was destroyed by youth rioters in Summer 2011 - to show their dedication to offering new beginnings for today's disadvantaged youth. Kids Count works to reduce youth crime and alleviate suffering, poverty and issues facing children and young people today.
Sony has been working closely with Kids Count for the past seven years and has helped shape the organisation and the young members who run it by truly engaging with the charity through offering mentoring and development programmes. The partnership became of particular relevance when Sony's DADC distribution centre in Enfield, North London was destroyed by fire caused by youths in the London riots last year.
Kids Chairman of Young Advisors at the charity Jinal Shah, 21, said, "When the riots took place last year I was in America with a team of young advisors from Kids Count. We were doing International grass root research into youth crime and looking at a variety of programmes to pilot in the UK. I turned on the TV to see images of burning buildings where we live and places we know being destroyed. It was so scary but once we got over the shock it made us more determined to find solutions to these problems. We know that we need the support of people of all generations for us to succeed and luckily we have that - that is what makes Kids Count so powerful. Sony have been a rock and tower of strength to us, supporting us for 7 years and that has made a huge difference to the lives of Kids Count's members."
"We are honoured to be at the opening of Sony's re-built distribution centre which is the start of a new beginning, something we - together with Sony - aim to give to kids by providing a positive support network after offending", said Linda Lawrence, Founder and Director, Kids Count, "Giving kids a voice is at the heart of our philosophy, and we believe that this can open the doors to opportunity, aspiration, inspiration and hope."
"By working at grass roots level with Kids Count, Sony hopes that, together, we can provide new opportunities and help encourage young people to make a positive difference with their lives. We are proud to work with such a fantastic charity that inspires a new generation," said Adrian Northover Smith, Head of Public Affairs, Sony UK.
Kids Count is launching an interim report into youth crime which will be the second in the series, entitled 'Bringing the Voice of the Street to the House' in the autumn at the Party conferences in September and October. The report features latest grass root research and youth perspective on potential ways forward in respect of Youth Crime, particularly knife crime. In addition, Kids Count is hosting a panel debate to discuss the findings of the interim report entitled 'Knife crime, what next?'. The combination of the publication and discussion seek to identify and explore the most recent trends and cultural influences that impact on this disturbing aspect of our society. The paper and debate will explore core issues, bringing the sometimes uncomfortable voice of the street to the parliamentary house, and propose potential ways forward for policy makers and funding providers. The approach is to get to the heart of the problem with a view to developing real and sustainable solutions for those it impacts.