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Met Police
Harry Pitman jpeg pic.jpg
Met Police
World News

Calls for more youth workers after 16 year old Catholic school pupil killed

by Donna Birrell

The head of a Christian charity is calling for churches to invest more in youth work in order to tackle teenage violence.

Ian Soars who is CEO of Spurgeons, was speaking after a 16 year old boy was stabbed to death in London on New Year's Eve. Harry Pitman, who was a pupil at St Thomas More Catholic School in north London died while waiting for a fireworks display in Primrose Hill.  

A 16 year old boy is being questioned on suspicion of his murder.

Ian Soars told Premier: "It’s hard to watch news headlines like this again. This isn't something that's happening every day, but it's happening far too often. It is desperately sad. My heart goes to Harry and his family. I just read that the mother doesn't want to take his dinner out of the oven. What a heart-breaking loss.”

16 teenagers were killed through violence in London in 2023, with 14 of those deaths due to stabbing.

Spurgeons works with young offenders to help prevent re-offending and runs an intervention project called Boys2Men. It aims to engage young men in turning their lives around by encouraging them to reflect on their lives, their decision (to offend) and where their lives can lead.

Ian Soars says churches are well placed to engage with young people to help them on a pathway away from violence.

“One of the biggest providers of youth workers in the UK is the Christian church. I would urge Christian leaders to get behind youth workers because these are the people on the frontline. They eventually stop so much more happening because they are being mentors, because they are teaching young boys and young girls how to become responsible adults. Churches, first and foremost, using your example of the Good Samaritan just heal their wounds. So pump money, not into your bell tower, but work to heal some wounds. Let’s stop more losses like Harry's.”

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