Debate aims to help young people Cr8 bright futures

Panellists film-maker Kevin Maxwell, actor Hammed Animashaun, Supt Leroy Logan and British Olympian

Panellists film-maker Kevin Maxwell, actor Hammed Animashaun, Supt Leroy Logan and British Olympian and Cr8 founder John Herbert at the Cr8 The Future event on Monday - Credit: Archant

A film-maker and the founder of the Black Police Association were some of the panel members in a Question Time-style debate aiming to inspire young people to achieve their dreams.

Dozens of people attended the Cre8 The Future event, which was held at the Cr8 lifestyle centre in East Way, Hackney Wick on Monday evening. Metropolitan Police Supt Leroy Logan, who set up the Black Police Association, chaired the event which featured producer Paul Blake, former counter terrorism officer and film-maker Kevin Maxwell, Hackney actor Hammed Animashaun and British Olympian and Cr8 founder John Herbert.

The conversation touched on stereotyping communities, being excluded, defying labelling, creating opportunities and the importance of hard graft.

Mr Logan said that young people who were excluded were “four times more likely to be involved in crime”.

Mr Herbert, who is also the chief executive of the London Coaching Foundation, said he had opened the Cr8 lifestyle centre “to give young people the chance to do great things”. He added: “I call them rough diamonds. They might not fit into traditional education but they have a creative skill set. We try to bring people in and give them confidence.

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“Some kids come from dysfunctional families and you give them some encouragement and they blossom.”

Mr Blake cited entrepreneur Jamal Edwards, who founded SB.TV, as a great example of someone seizing social media opportunities to excel. He said: “This is a really great time to do things and challenge the perceptions of who people think you are.”

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