Nottingham youth leaders have spoken out about the facilities they are providing to help “empower” young people by showing them different pathways in life.
The Fearless Youth Association (FYA) in Nottingham was founded in 2018 to help prevent youth violence in Nottingham and to create more opportunities for young people.
The non profit organisation is currently helping around 40 young people with 23 on kickstart programmes, and they are working to reach as many people as possible.
FYA is based at the Marcus Garvey Centre on Lenton Boulevard and has music facilities, recording studios with green screens, cameras and computers for young people to use.
Edrissa Touray, 41, is the knife crime training and youth development manager at FYA.
He told Nottinghamshire Live: “Statistically, knife crime is getting better but it has still been a problem, it’s our job to give young people other opportunities. We’ve received help and funding from Notts victim care and are aiming to reduce youth violence.”
FYA also provides employability and work experience opportunities to young people.
Since the launch of FYA, Mr Touray said the organisation had relied on students to expand.
“I’m grateful for the relationship we have with both universities,” he said.
Jaya Gordon-Moore is now a freelancer and content creator for FYA after starting off as an intern with the youth association after studying.
“I started as an intern and it flourishes you. I’ve gone from an intern to helping other people,” said the 22-year-old.
“FYA really supports people studying and they really want you to develop.
“Our main ethos is to empower, elevate and expand”, continued Miss Gordon-Moore.
“I know a lot of people who are disengaged because they’re in jobs they don’t like but I’m trying to show people that you can get paid for your art.”
Miss Gordon-Moore has been recognised for her music, as she raps as well as being a youth worker. She wants other people to join in and contribute to the content the organisation is producing.
“We’re currently looking for more people to join our podcasts, right now, we have young people speaking about football and social issues on the podcasts and it’s about seeing things from different perspectives,” she said.
FYA is also active on their Instagram account, which is controlled mainly by Miss Gordon-Moore, and this was lauded by Mr Touray as a great way to increase exposure and awareness with their target audience.
“Social media is a secret weapon, with it we’re able to reach out to more young people,” said Mr Touray.
Miss Gordon-Moore has also started a new project: Women in Music, which helps women showcase and channel their energy into making music. She said that her inspiration for the project came from a desire to help others break through.
“There is a lack of stuff for women in music, in a white, male dominated industry,” she said. “I’m a self sufficient artist, but many aren’t and I’m trying to build a bridge between that.”
Miss Gordon-Moore and Mr Touray both acknowledge there’s been a decline in youth centres over the years and how hard it can be – especially after the pandemic – reaching out to youth in the community.
“As a non white person growing up in Britain, there’s a lot of trauma you go through so at FYA we’re showing people how to go down more positive pathways,” said Miss Gordon-Moore.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if kids didn’t know what a youth club is, funding is vital, we know what we’re doing, it’s just about getting more money and exposure”.
“With community organisations, there’s a lack of trust, people feel like we tick a box when they’re here or think there’s a hidden agenda but it’s important to come together and find solutions, it’s also hard to connect with people who aren’t institutionalised, never went to university and just finished school.
“Funding is vital, we know what we’re doing, it’s just about getting more money and exposure.”
- Fearless Youth Association full address: Unit 8, Howitt Wing Building, Lenton Blvd, Nottingham NG7 2BY