Wednesday, 15 August 2012
YOUNG people driven apart by the intense postcode rivalry that divides Edmonton are having their prejudices challenged this week at a summer camp in Epping Forest.
The four-day camp at Gilwell Park is a chance for 120 teenagers from across Enfield to set aside the postcode and gang rivalries that have sparked violence in the borough and focus instead on “fun, adventure and learning”.
The mini-summer camp was the brainchild of young people from the Craig Park and Croyland youth centres in Edmonton, based in the rival postcodes of N18 and N9 respectively, who set up the Unity Youth project to help young people in their area overcome the intense gang associations that stop some people travelling between boroughs.
The 13 to 19-year-olds at this week’s camp come from ten different youth projects across Enfield.
And an Enfield Council spokesman insisted that the four-day camp is about promoting community harmony between some of the young people who hail from rival areas.
Ayfer Orhan, cabinet member for children and youth, said: “This summer event brings many young people together, learning new skills and trying new challenging activities.
“They are taking part in team building and communication exercises, team sports and adventurous activities.”
She added that young people attending the camp would gain recognised national accreditations as youth leaders or as participants.
One of the camp leaders, Ersin Ramiz, who manages Ponders End Youth Centre, said: “The success of this camp is to get young people to expand their social skills beyond their immediate friends and learn how to interact with new people and how to exchange ideas.
“Working in groups, young people are able to find new interests and support each other.”