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Awe-inspiring! Neighbourhood hit by knife crime shows its other side with festival

'Peckwater neighbourhood has found real strength at a difficult time'

13 July, 2018 — By William McLennan

Council leader Georgia Gould with festival organisers and children who made the most of the day of fun in the sun

A NEIGHBOURHOOD that was ravaged by a series of violent deaths of young men came together under the summer sun in a display of “awe-inspiring” community spirit.

The Peckwater Neighbourhood Festival, on Saturday, featured street-dance displays, face-painting and bouncy castles in spaces that in recent months have been the focus of a national debate on knife crime. It was organised by the NW5 Community Play Project who were more determined than ever to make this year’s festival a success.

Reverend Jon March, of St Luke’s Church in nearby Oseney Crescent, joined in the festivities with his children.

He said: “It was an antidote to all that had happened in a difficult winter. What it showed was that light and life was being celebrated in our community again. It wasn’t a flash in the pan, the NW5 Project has been doing this for years, but it did feel like that in response to everything that happened over the winter, the community has been coming together.”

Council leader Georgia Gould, who attended the event with her sister, Grace, said: “Peckwater neighbourhood has found real strength at a difficult time and I am in awe of the way they have come together to give young people a better future. It was moving to see a community so recently impacted by youth violence coming together for such a special event.”

Three floral shrines have been erected on the small estate since December last year after three young men died – one in police custody and two from knife wounds. Television crews descended on the estate and Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party, visited as attention focused on how to tackle rising levels of violence across the capital.

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