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Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Pozitive Movement teen wants to change the perception of Croydon's young people


Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Croydon AdvertiserFollow

RORY Morgan made the right choice on riot night – now he wants other teenagers to make the right choice in their everyday lives, as Gareth Davies discovers...
RORY Morgan was walking home from work one afternoon last August when he was approached by someone he recognised walking in the opposite direction.

The boy told Rory he was on his way to join the looters, who would go on to leave swathes of Croydon in flames, and asked if the teenager wanted to join him.

"He tried to persuade me, told me I should come along, that it would be fun," explained Rory.

"I told him I was against it, that there was no way I was doing it. It was a good thing too because something bad ended up happening to him – he was arrested."

Rory, 18, knows he made the right choice that night and now he and six of his family and friends have come together in hope of convincing others to do the same in the future.

The teenager, from Coleridge Road, Woodside, is the managing director of Pozitive Movement, a group determined to change the perception of young people in Croydon.

Rory nods in agreement when I point out to him that a sizeable proportion of those arrested for taking part in rioting in Croydon on August 8 were older than 25.

"After the riots the wider community held young people responsible," he said.

"Yes there were some youths involved but they have been used to represent all of us as a whole.

"I want to shine a different light on it and also convince those teenagers who did take part there's a different way – to turn a negative into a positive."

Pozitive Movement's first step was to organise High Jinx, an event which, Rory explains, is dedicated to young people who "aspire to restore a sense of unity within the community".

At its heart, High Jinx is a basketball tournament for 16 to 25-year-olds, which will also feature arts and crafts stalls as well as live music, with an appearance from rapper Raw Savant.

Mayor of Croydon Graham Bass has been invited to speak about community spirit at the event, at Park Hill Recreation Ground on July 7.

Even the name, "Jinx", which has negative connotations when used on the street, has been adopted to fit into Rory's mantra of turning bad into good.

"The level of interest has been empowering and I'm keen for as many young people to get involved as possible," explained Rory. "Pozitive Movement is about providing young people with the opportunity to gain experience, to have something to put on their CV.

"Most employers aren't interested in you unless you have experience, but you can't get experience if no one will give you a chance."

Rory and his friends have put in £800 of their own money to set up Pozitive Movement and are currently looking for additional funding to organise further events.

The former Selsdon High and Coulsdon College student believes last summer's disorder was all about a lack of choice.

He said: "Young people saw it as an opportunity.

"All I'm doing is trying to provide better opportunities for them."

If you would like to take part in High Jinx or get involved with Pozitive Movement, e-mail: highjinx.pm@gmail.com

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