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27 August 2011

Youngsters reversing negative press

Youngsters reversing negative press

Young Christians are showing their worth by harnessing their talents for good and tackling the negative stereotype of 'feral' youth which has recently been attributed to them following the riots this month.

Christian-based youth group XLP is encouraging young musicians to work together to create a communal track at Greenbelt festival.

Thirteen-year-old Ryan (pictured) from Bedford went down to the XLP van complete with its own recording studio to lend his song-writing and rapping talents to the project.

He told idea: "I think what XLP are doing is great because it's getting young people involved."

Commenting on the riots which hit the nation recently, he said: "The instances in which the riots happened that had no relevance to the Tottenham shooting were ridiculously disgraceful and disgusting."

XLP youth worker Darius Weithers, who is based at member church All Saints Peckham, said the whole community was shocked by what happened.

"Anyone I've spoken to has just expressed shock and disbelief. Some of these were young people that we have known for years. Our vision at XLP is to tackle knife, gun and gang crime in inner city London."
But he said what XLP were doing at Greenbelt was re-enforcing positive youth culture. "Young people have come along and they have included musicians, vocalists and guitar players and a rapper."

Josh Lees, who volunteers with the charity, added: "I think XLP is important cause because I don't think there's a huge amount of Christian grass-roots organisations which are working in inner city schools effectively.

"Instead of just doing evangelical assemblies, we are serving the schools in really practical ways such as offering reading help. By doing this, they start to see that Christians are people who really do want to serve and love people and consequently I think XLP is a really great charity."