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Season 1: Episode 1 - Gloves not Gunz: Why all our children are worth fighting for, with Pete O'Shea

Updated: Jul 21, 2020

Mike Barton - worked on the beat in Durham as head of police:

“This is my fault, this is the fault of police because for 39 years I’ve done your bidding.

I’ve locked up a lot of drug dealers, and when I’ve locked them up, I’ve put them in the court and they’ve been put away for a long time.

But two hours after I have locked them up, behind my back two more violent drug dealers have tried to take over the patch.

And the most violent one has won.

So I then go after the most violent drug dealer and this is a Darwinian spiral of violence.

We’ve created that because we’ve done their bidding.

We are never going to arrest our way out of this problem."

In this episode we talk to Pete O'Shea from 'Gloves not Gunz', an organisation based in  Croydon and South London that aims to prevent and divert young people from crime, antisocial behaviour, exclusion from education and 'care'.   Recorded to coincide with Children's Mental Health Week, Pete talks about how positive relationships, education and diversion activities can make a difference to some of our most vulnerable, and often challenging, children and young people.

We also talk about strategies for teacher wellbeing in the face of what can seem, at times, like a helpless struggle to support our children against the pressures of gangs, social media, drill music and increasingly disconnected lives.

Gloves Not Gunz promotional poster Pic: Sara Feigin via

Links to organisations featured in this podcast include: - Place2Be is a children’s mental health charity that provides counselling and mental health support and training in UK schools. - Gloves Not Gunz is a registered CIC (Community Interest Company) based in Croydon & South London, established in 2017 that aims to prevent & divert young people from crime, antisocial behaviour, exclusion from education and ‘care’ - An organisation that aims to make sure that children and young people get the best possible mental health support and have the resilience to overcome life’s difficulties. - Democratic, non-profit organisation representing the fastest growing martial art in the UK

Research includes: -

Eime, R.M., Young, J.A., Harvey, J.T. et al (2013) Psychological and social benefits of participation in sport for children and adolescents: informing development of a conceptual model of health through sport -

Schumacher & Seiler (2011) Extra-curricular sport participation: A potential buffer against social anxiety symptoms in primary school children -

Bailey, R (2006) Physical Education and Sport in Schools: A Review of Benefits and Outcomes

Joseph P. Ryan, Pedro M. Hernandez, Denise Herz (2007) Developmental Trajectories of Offending for Male Adolescents Leaving Foster Care

NCA (2019) County lines drug supply, vulnerability and harm -

Longfield, A (2019) Keeping kids safe - Improving safeguarding responses to gang violence and criminal exploitation

Books of interest:

Links: - a resource for rehabilitation and support

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