Unruly boys who will not grow up must be taken in hand

i wrote this blog in early December 2011 – if you’ve not read it, have a quick read now


Since the incident on the bridge i’ve thought and read a lot about suicide and been contacted by Universities, charities and mental health providers, not to mention MP’s, Deputy Prime Ministers, councillors, police, journalists asking me to get involved in one thing or another.

One thing that has shocked me during my reading is just how prevalent suicide is, especially with young men.  But then i thought about the amount of totally disenfranchised young men who walk our streets with hands down their  jogging pants, tucked in socks or stood outside newsagents/off licences or riding around one of our beautifully constructed concrete jungles with nothing to believe in, no role models, no money, no love and little hope.  Then, I think about their efforts to escape the hopelessness through cannabis, pills, coke and alcohol etc and it becomes clearer.

My theory (for what it’s worth) is that from the desperation, young men attempt to escape artificially which works for 12hours or so but when the reality of daily life kicks in after a big binge, life is greyer, the rain is wetter, the wind is more harsh and your Giro’s gone. Then, their only escape is a permanent one.

Now i’m discovering that up and down the country there a local bridges that are hot spots for suicides.  Which brought to mind a guy i used to work for whose dad was a copper and everytime we drove passed a certain bridge he called it “N*****s Leap”.  A horrible horrible word that  i will not even write never mind speak but he told me that the police nick named it that because of the prevalence of young black men committing suicide by throwing themselves off onto fast moving traffic.  I find this painfully sad on so many different levels.

So imagine if you lived near one of those bridges that averages 3 leaps a year, how would it affect you?  How would you feel driving/walking past that bridge on a daily basis knowing that young men and women regularly use it to end their life.  One community group who contacted me told me of the Hornsey Bridge or Suicide Bridge as it is known in the local community where in November 2010 alone, there were 3 suicides.

I know this bridge because i know Archway well, i have friends who live there and visit regularly, so i had to get invloved.  Please have a look at their campaign and if you agree with it and can help in any way, let them know.


Be safe and happy new year to everyone x

3 thoughts on “Unruly boys who will not grow up must be taken in hand

  1. I think you sum it up perfectly, “nothing to believe in, no role models, no money, no love and little hope.” That’s it – they see no future, so give up, turn inwards and fend for themsleves. “What do we get for our trouble and pain? Whalley Range…”
    Our youth, especially young men, are massively misunderstood and constantly demonised by the press. The rest of us are scared because we associate young lads with violence and crime, so we don’t talk to them, we steer clear. And that’s only gonna alienate them further.
    I’m a teacher and I’ve seen it in schools, we try hard to engage kids and sometimes, after constant hardwork (and taking a lot of stick), it works and you get a glimmer of respect back and you know you’ve done a good job. Other times though, you get nothing back. And after taking abuse for so long, you stop trying, though you know you should carry on and persevere. It’s heartbreaking. But it’s good to know there’s people like you about, who still believe. You’re an inspiration – I’m gonna make sure the kids read this blog when I get back to school in the New Year. Keep it up, mate.

  2. I’ve just got back from visiting family in a tiny town in the middle of Wales. I was reading in their local paper about an increase in anti-social behaviour caused by youths gathering around the old train-station, bored and ‘up to no good’. How did they deal with it? Build a big fence and move them on? Install high-pitched ‘mosquito’ soundwaves to deter them? No. They’ve asked local businesses to donate towards building a youth centre and facilities at the old station. Problem solved.
    If only we talked to kids and understood them a bit more and dealt with the causes of youth crime and youth depression, we’d get somewhere! Here’s to a more understanding, patient and forward-thinking 2012!

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