About Value Life

Value Life is an anti gun and knife crime school based community initiative. The campaign started by 9 Gladesmore students in 2004 and has been ongoing.  The aim of the campaign is not only to eradicate gun and knife crime but also to empower students to maximise their potential.

The Value Life team have organised a variety of events over the 7 years including schools from across the London Borough of Haringey and London.

Our first Value Life event in 2004 started with a peace walk from Gladesmore Community School and finished at the Freedom Arc in Bruce Grove.  Over 120 students were in attendance.

Value Life II, 2005 was a peace walk and rally headed by David Lammy MP, Lucy Cope Mothers Against Guns UK (MAG) and Reverend Nims Obunge of the Peace Alliance.  Over 500 students turned up to walk from Gladesmore Community School to White Hart Lane football ground where a rally was held inside the White Suite.

Value Life III, 2006 included a peace walk targeting all the hot spots within the Borough of Haringey.  The walk started from Gladesmore Community School all the way down to The Dominion Centre on Wood Green High Road.  Over half of the student body were in attendance (600 students) with the event headed by Lucy Cope of Mothers Against Guns.

Value Life IV, 2007 had many different strands.  Starting with a peace festival in Gladesmore Community School’s playground featuring fairground attractions and outside agencies.  The school hired 6 open top buses to tour the London Borough of Haringey stopping at The Civic Centre to hand in a petition to the Head of the Council.  600 students then marched down Wood Green High Road lead by David Lammy MP.

Value Life V, 2008 also included open top buses.  8 open top buses full of students from various Haringey secondary schools and other selected London schools were in attendance.  Buses took numerous routes throughout Haringey converging at Ducketts Common where students then marched up Wood Green High Road to The Decorium Hall where a peace concert was held with special guest ‘ChipMunk’.  Over 1000 students were in attendance.

Value Life VI, July 2009 was a peace festival in Markfield Park, Tottenham Haringey to recognise and celebrate the achievements of London students.  Over 800 students from eight schools across the capital attended the festival. Students were keen to participate in the many inter-school competitions and enjoyed a variety of fun filled games and activities from rock climbing to five-a-side human table football.

A number of guest speakers addressed the audience about the issues surrounding gun and knife crime and we were humbled to hear the personal account of a mother who had lost a child to knife crime.  Other speakers included James Cleverly (London’s Youth Ambassador) who stressed the importance of education as a means of success.  Reverend Nims from the Peace Alliance also gave an impassioned speech calling on students to avoid the perils of the street.

The festival culminated in the Value Life Concert hosted by Choice FM’s Martin Jay.  This year’s headlining act featured Haringey’s finest, Wretch 32 who wowed the crowd with his inspirational verbal gymnastics.

A solutions DVD was also produced during Value Life VI.  The DVD deals with the issue of knife crime and concentrates primarily on young peoples solutions to this problem. Students from schools right across the capital where interviewed. The DVD also gets the views of key professionals working in the Haringey area.

Value Life VII, Tuesday 13th July 2010 / Tuesday 20th July 2010.  The focus for this year was the production of a film.  The film was a 25 minute short with a strong anti gun and knife crime message. 

There were 2 premieres of the film, 1 in Central London at the Prince Charles Theatre in Leicester Square and the other in The Vue cinema, Wood Green, Haringey. The Central London Premiere was host to a selection of students from across the capital, VIP guests including Lindsey Coulson and the press. A week later, Tuesday 20th July 2010, there was a local premiere where schools within Haringey were in attendance, with local dignitaries and the press.  Both events culminated with a question and answer session to discuss the issues raised in the film.

Value Life VIII, Tuesday 19th July 2011 had four main strands:

  1. Value Life Peace Garden Unveiling
  2. Value Life Installation Tour
  3. Value Life Festival
  4. Value Life Concert

 

Value Life Peace Garden Unveiling
This was a special ceremony to start things off.  Following the success of previous Value Life events, the school was formally presented with the Royal Crest by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II official representative.  This took place in the newly created garden and seating area in Gladesmore.  Rev Nims Obunge, Peace Alliance unveiled a specially commissioned Value Life sign within the garden, a permanent memorial to the hard work the students have engaged in over the years.

Value Life Installation Tour
 A large Value Life installation was created for Value Life VIII to tour schools in London spreading the anti gun and knife crime message.  The magnificent LIFE installation is based on the New York LOVE sculpture by American artist Robert Indiana. The installation represents dreams, aspirations and the celebration of life and was unveiled at Potters Field, City Hall, the home of the Greater London Authority by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, Deputy Mayor of London Kit Malthouse and MP for Tottenham David Lammy. 

Value Life Festival
The Value Life Festival was host to various outside agencies and organisations who work at positively engaging young people.  There was food and merchandise stalls for students to enjoy including hotdogs, burgers, candy floss and popcorn.  The festival also included rides and activities to engage students from dodgems, bungee trampolines, to a gyroscope and rodeo bull all for free of charge. 

Value Life Concert
The culmination of the day was the Value Life Concert held at Gladesmore Community School’s G2 arena. The concert was to celebration life and students infinite potential.  Various schools from across the Capital attended the event and performed during the concert. The concert was headlined by a chart topping sensation Wretch 32 and compared by Don and Bowaa.

Value Life has received a variety of awards including:

  • ‘The Wavemakers Award’
  • BT ‘Am I Listening?’ Award
  • The Peace Alliance’s ‘London Schools Peace Award’
  • The Home Office’s ‘Respect Making A Stand Award’
  • The Philip Lawrence Awards 2008
  • Women’s Own Children of Courage Local Hero Award for Valerie Okoampah
  • The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services June 2011

 

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