youth charity, which uses music to battle knife crime is offering after school fencing lessons at primary schools to help pupils develop skills in self control.

Music Relief is working in conjunction with qualified coaches at British Fencing and London Youth to deliver training in swordsmanship at Whitehorse Manor Junior school  and Cypress Primary School in a safe, fun and engaging way.  

Music Relief CEO Magdalene Adenaike  said: “As a charity that works with young people to enable them to have a balanced wellbeing and identify their potential to live a fulfilled life through our diverse workshops, we were interested in something that was able to offer the young people both an active lifestyle and transferable skills that were different from the norm.

“We strongly believe in supporting young people with activities that will help them develop a balanced well being. To this end, we decided to introduce fencing, a sporting activity as part of our service delivery, with an integral benefit of learning self-control.”

The project follows a pilot scheme  ‘Art of Fencing’ launched as part of Music Relief’s fencing and music  showcase in March last year at Imperial College London. 

John Jones, sports development manager for London Youth said that it has been working with British Fencing to create an inclusive community fencing for children and young people across London and that “with the confidence, equipment and skills, it has enabled the sport of fencing to reach children and young people who never have dreamed of taking part previously.

“…it’s developed a proven track read of being a fun inclusive and creative way to get young Londoner’s moving more and building up their confidence.”

Last month  the youth charity marked its ninth year by moving in to its new home at Thornton Heath Leisure Centre. The foundation is launching a series of new projects aimed at giving young people a greater voice in the community.

Music Relief Foundation was founded in 2011 by Magdalene  (pictured)  who had been a teenage mother experiencing first hand the hardships, isolation and traumatic experiences that many teenage parents endure. 

During this difficult period she discovered the transformative power of music, and the importance of bringing other teenage mothers together to share their experiences. With these two revelations, the idea for Music Relief Foundation was born. It became a place where young mothers could find refuge, receive counselling and make friends. It also provided a platform to channel their creativity and help build their confidence.

Once established, it became apparent that other young people could also benefit and the scope of the charity widened.

 Responding to the shifting big challenges faced by society and its young people, today, the charity addresses issues such as knife crime, mental health, child safeguarding, child sexual exploitation (CSE) and trafficking.

MRF also work closely with local schools and the local community to deliver workshops to young people aged 11 plus to help develop their self-esteem and overall well-being. The activities are  offered during term time and holidays to help build team skills and expose young people to new interests.

Founder and CEO Magdalene Adenaike, said:”‘I’m excited that we are now based in Thornton Heath, with all its uniqueness and variety of cultures. We are proud to serve this community.”

•Give Youths a Voice, starts on Tuesday (February 18) for ages 12 to 16 is a social action program for young people who may be withdrawn and not very social or passionate about things affecting young people but not channeling it the right way. It will provide an opportunity to connect with other likeminded young people, working towards identifying and tackling issues affecting them as young people. 

•Express Yourself is an intergenerational programme bringing together young and old to have their say on issues and work collaboratively towards finding solutions. The sessions will be held ever other Friday starting on  February 21 between 6-7.30pm and all are welcome to attend.

•Free guitar lessons are on offered from Saturday February 22, for ages 11 to 25 from 11am to midday over 10 sessions. Open to the first 10 people on a first come first serve basis with a waiting list for the next cycle with a performance on the completion of the course. or 0203633 0560 or join the WhatsApp group 07535 990735.