Peace on our streets

A kitted-out double-decker bus will arrive in Brent during the October half-term to engage young people in issues that matter to them whilst creating a mixtape alongside celebrities Charlie Sloth and Akala - writes

The United Borders Project, which aims to foster cross-border collaboration and bring young people together, will use the bus to deliver life-skills interventions and music training, including:

  • Beat production skills
  • Multimedia skills (video shooting, production, post production, social media and monetisation)
  • Barclays Life Skills
  • Conflict Resolution training with Kevin George, former pro footballer
  • Yoga with Samantha Hamilton

The bus visited Church End and Stonebridge last week, areas in Brent where young people can be affected by issues related to gang violence.

Cllr Tom Miller, Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities, said:

"Creating effective spaces and working with organisations like United Borders is imperative to reach young people affected and at risk of gang related violence.

"I'm really glad that Charlie Sloth and Akala are part of this project because it will mean that the peace-themed mixtape created by our young people in Brent will receive mainstream promotion via BBC 1 Xtra and through the leading hip-hop and grime music media channels.

"We also know that the Council talking at people doesn't work and that to engage young people in issues that matter to them and their community, involving respected artists like Charlie and Akala really does make a difference."

Justin Finlayson, creator of United Borders, said:

"Our project name - United Borders, states our aims. We have listened to a younger and older generation who have witnessed Brent turn into a divided area and this project aims to chance that cycle of violence."

If you are a young person who would like to get involved in the project, please text Justin Finlayson on 07545 312785 or email

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