Former gang member turns youth worker mentor to future generation

By Charlie Parry

A former gang member left in a critical condition after a vicious knife attack has become a youth worker looking to reshape the future of Covid’s “lost generation”.

Gideon Buabeng, from Croydon, made the conscious decision to exit gang culture after the harsh realisation that his only two options for the future seemed to be prison or death.

But after securing a place on a business management university degree, Buabeng was ambushed and stabbed 14 times, leaving him in a fight for his life just before it was about to begin.

After incredible work from the NHS and five months in bed, he had recovered remarkably well and returned to his job as a delivery driver, but he had missed out on his business management course.

A customer advised him to reach out to The Prince’s Trust, a charity that assists young people in finding work, to help him with a new career path.

He was inspired by his mentor at the trust to become a youth worker himself.

Mr Buabeng said: “It took a lot of work to write my story with my mentor, but it all suddenly clicked, and I realised that my story had power and relevance to other young people.

“No matter what has happened in the past, working with a Prince’s Trust online mentor is like having a clean slate; there is no judgement, just ways to help you achieve your ambitions.”

Mr Buabeng’s past is by no means an isolated case.

Results of a recent unemployment report conducted by the trust suggest there are many similar stories being lived out in South London, and made worse by the pandemic.

The trust surveyed 2,000 16 to 25-year olds across the UK, and large percentages of respondents from South-east London voiced concerns over unemployment.

According to the report, 60 per percent of young people in the area are scared of being unemployed, and 41 per cent worry they will never get a job.

When asked about their plans for the future, 39 per cent of respondents in South-east London said that they have abandoned aspirations for the year, and 46 per cent say the pandemic has severely damaged their long-term goals.

Pictured top: Gideon Buabeng

 


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