I grew up in an area of London where gangs and violence related to gangs were commonplace. Ultimately, this culture led to a friend of mine being murdered when I was growing up.
But rather than judge the gangs, I decided to try and understand gang culture.
In the news, we always hear stories of gangs and how the same 'types' of people become involved in crime. But this coverage is just simply untrue - there is no single 'type' of person who becomes involved in gangs.
People join gangs for a variety of reasons, many of which are not always in their control. There is often no way out of their situation other than to join others, regardless of whether the group do good or bad.
I'm working with Fixers to create a short film which shows the realities of gangs, the reasons people become involved in them, and how young people can escape them. I hope this will show people outside gangs the truth about this culture, and encourage them to stop the stereotypes.
Here is a list of Fixers helping me with my Fix:
Ellie Louise Pettitt
Barnet Council Barnet Council is supporting my Fixers project. Mohammed Rafi, a youth worker at the local authority, was interviewed for my broadcast piece.
I have been crowned Cosmopolitan’s Ultimate Campaigner of 2014 for my Get Outta the Gang campaign!
September 2014 I’ve been recognised by the Prime Minister for my voluntary work campaigning against gang culture. In September, it was announced that I’d won a Points of Light Award.
The accolade has been developed in partnership with a programme in America and it acknowledges volunteers that make a change in their community.
News of my win appeared on the PM’s Twitter account!
I held an event to screen my Fixers film at The artsdepot in North London on Thursday 23rd January. Over 100 people attended including young people, staff from youth organisations and local authorities.
An article about my Fixers project appeared in the Times Series. Click here to read the story.
I am incredibly grateful to how Fixers has helped me with this project, and I've had positive and encouraging feedback so far from others! Below are some of the comments that I have received:
'Great work, well done Temi and the Get Outta The Gang team!'
'I just want to say I think it's amazing that you put so much into helping others as well as dealing with life as a teenager surrounded by these issues.'