‘Cool’ East End street team nominated for gong

A YOUTH organisation that an East End teen says saved him has been nominated for a prestigious award.

Bigga Fish, which has a base in Club Row, Shoreditch, enlists 14 to 19-year-olds to organisation everything from rock concerts, to training days, to Chlamydia screenings.

The street team, which describes itself as a cool version of the scouts - there to engage young people on their own terms - has been nominated for a community champions gong in the Spirit of London Awards.

Kameron BaCosta, 17, works at Bigga Fish most days of the week and said it has been a god send.

The teen, from Blackwall Way, Poplar, was expelled from school twice in his younger years.

But he turned things around when he joined the street team and now works in marketing and promotions.

He said: “Everything changed for me when I joined Bigga Fish. I felt like I was being treated fairly.

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“It’s about appealing to young people through something they like.

“I’ve met people like Wiley and Tinie Tempah through events we’ve organised. We grab people like me, who were getting kicked out of school, and put them in positions they haven’t been in before.”

One event that sticks out in the East End teen’s mind is a free pop concert Bigga Fish organised for teens – and entry depended on them taking a Chlamydia test.

Dozens of youngsters got tested through the drive.

Bigga Fish, which has been running for ten years, is the largest youth-led street team in London.

Organisations like BBC Radio and NHS Camden have commissioned projects through them.

The Spirit of London Awards takes place at Greenwich’s Indig02 on November 27.