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Pupils help east London charity spread knife crime awareness with special edition of the Big Issue

PUBLISHED: 07:00 24 October 2019 | UPDATED: 12:20 24 October 2019

Pupils helped to distribute a special edition of The Big Issue at Westfield Stratford City. Picture: The Big Issue

Pupils helped to distribute a special edition of The Big Issue at Westfield Stratford City. Picture: The Big Issue

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An outreach charity teamed up with The Big Issue to produce a special edition of the magazine focusing on knife crime.

More than 2,000 copies were distributed at the Stratford shopping centre. Picture: The Big IssueMore than 2,000 copies were distributed at the Stratford shopping centre. Picture: The Big Issue

East London Business Alliance (Elba) works with businesses and grassroots organisations to help prevent vulnerable young people from getting caught up in knife crime and instead provide them with jobs and other opportunities.

The Isle of Dogs charity recently marked its 30th anniversary and partnered with The Big Issue to run an eight-page supplement in the London edition.

The supplement raises awareness about the issue of knife crime and the work of the charity over the past three decades.

Office for National Statistics data shows 14,725 knife crimes - including 74 deaths - were recorded in London in 2018, making it one of the worst years on record.

The Big Issue produced a special edition to mark the 30 year anniversary of the East London Business Alliance. Picture: The Big IssueThe Big Issue produced a special edition to mark the 30 year anniversary of the East London Business Alliance. Picture: The Big Issue

Staff from Elba members Westfield Stratford City and asset management firm T Rowe Price distributed more than 2,000 copies of the special edition at the shopping centre, assisted by pupils from Norlington School in Leyton.

The money raised will go towards the school, beneficiaries of Elba and children's mental health charity Place2Be.

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ELBA chief executive officer Ian Parkes said: "For 30 years, Elba businesses have been helping young people make the most of their talent.

An eight-page supplement in The Big Issue raised awareness about the issue of knife crime. Picture: The Big IssueAn eight-page supplement in The Big Issue raised awareness about the issue of knife crime. Picture: The Big Issue

"Our aim is to help every young person achieve the jobs and careers their qualifications, drive and ambition deserve.

"We hope more employers will join those that we work with and give every young person a brighter future."

Elba has more than 70 members from business and public bodies, and operates in nine boroughs.

It utilises the expertise of business volunteers and the resources they can access to create programmes to unlock the potential of young people.

The Big Issue head of partnerships Oliver Waddington-Ball said: "As the Mayor of London has outlined, lack of opportunity leaves young people vulnerable to negative forces in society.

"It was brilliant to work with their team so closely and raise awareness of the fantastic work that Elba has done to ensure brighter futures for east London's young people."

The Big Issue is sold by vendors to lift themselves out of poverty and available across the UK for £2.50.

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