05 July 2010
In the wake of another youth stabbing, XLP Showcase presents a platform for positive young people
The Mermaid Theatre, Blackfriars played host to a capacity audience on Saturday night for the 12th annual Arts Showcase final by youth and schools charity XLP.
60 young performers from schools across London, came together to compete for the title of Arts Showcase winner. This year's prize, presented by Simon Hughes MP was won by energetic Grime group, Premature, so called because they believe they are "mature, prematurely!"
Also winners on the night were Mixed Opinions, who received the David Idowu Young Voice award, for the acts whose lyrical content or performance tackled the issue of gun and knife violence and was presented by Grace Idowu.
XLP's CEO Patrick Regan's book, "Fighting Chance: Tackling Britain's Gang Problem" was on sale on the night and was bought by a number of parents interested in how they can keep their children safe and notice the warning signs that their children may be involved in gang activity.
The subject weighed heavily on the minds of many of the parents in light of the 13th murder of a teenager this year on the previous Friday. Zac Olumegbon, was a 15 year old who wanted to be an actor but whose involvement in gangs had limited his choices and ultimately lead to the loss of his life. XLP are committed to providing alternative activities and support to ensure that more children are able to fulfil their potential and stay away from gangs .
Patrick Regan said after the event: "This was a fantastic event to show the power of positive young people, in the face of horrible actions of a minority. We at XLP, are fully committed to events like these that build the self confidence of the young people we work with, many of whom are faced with the real challenges of poverty, poor education standards and low expectation. XLP stands for them!"