This blog is all that remains from the former website which was closed after 8 years of providing a 'wiki' of urban street gangs in London.

An unfinished history of modern urban street gangs in London has been used to replace some of the content of the original site, beginning here

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Borough's United - On Tour


 "The Crib is already doing excellent work with young people in Hackney to prevent gun, knife and hate crimes. Setting up this exciting new project means it can unleash the creative potential of youngsters in every borough across the city, helping them to raise their aspirations and to increase their confidence as performers."  The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson

Boroughs United is a youth led campaign for peace. It is produced and managed by the independent youth charity, The Crib, who conceived and developed the programme to promote an inclusive platform for all communities to share, express and enjoy the inspiring and exceptional talents and achievements young people contribute to our society every day.

Boroughs United is a three-phased, pan-London, urban arts showcase, produced by The Crib, in collaboration with the producers of the legendary talent shows Hackney Empire’s 291 Club, C4’s Nights out at the Empire and The New Acts of the Year

  • On Tour! – 33 London borough Summer season
  • Urban Quest – North, South, East, West – London regional Autumn heats
  • Showcase & Awards – Hackney Empire – Winter Grand Finals

Boroughs United - On Tour! is a professionally produced music-based urban variety show, presenting original work performed by: singer/ songwriters, MCs, poets, speciality acts and dance groups, aged between 15 and 24 years.

On Tour! premieres this year.  It will be performed to audiences of at least 15,000 people, including preview performances at City Hall in June, Hyde Park Live and Open East at the Olympic Park in July and going on to play afternoon matinees, throughout August, in art centres, studio theatres and festivals, performing once in each of London’s 33 boroughs.


Friday 21 June:           Celebrate at London’s Living Room, City Hall
Sunday 7 July:            Hyde Park Live Family Day
Thursday 11 July:       Hyde Park Live, On Tour! Youth Network Preview
Saturday 27 &
Sunday 28 July:          Open East, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
29 July to
31 August:                   33 London Borough Tour (Mondays to Saturdays)  

Urban Quest plays four regional heats in middle-scale theatres, in north, south, east and west London, between September and December. The Quest showcases emerging acts to a talent selection panel comprising of inspirational peers, leading artists and top industry professionals who are tasked with the responsibility to select the final line-up that will perform at the annual Boroughs United Showcase & Awards.


½ Term:                      Four venues TBC

Showcase & Awards:

Sunday 26 January or Sunday 9 February 2014, Hackney Empire Theatre

 “The success, at the Boroughs United event, of local singer “Little Red” and the potential benefits of such success offer the potential for this person to become a role model for other similarly gifted young people from the area.” PC Philip Poole (2002)

Boroughs United has been running annually since 2000.  It has received grant funding from the Youth Opportunity Fund, Arts Council of England Grants for the Arts, Lottery Awards for All and the Metropolitan Police.  It strives to be an inclusive and grass-roots, peer-led programme that is delivered by young people, aged up to 24 years, with support from youth workers and creative facilitators.

Each year, it brings together a pan-London network of approximately 200 young volunteers who participate in creative and administrative skills development programmes including: fashion, singing, dance, MC-ing, performance poetry, music and film production and event management to deliver a first class production at the Hackney Empire Theatre.

It is a creative industry that each year provides a diverse mix of at least 350 young Londoners with accredited training, volunteering, work experience, apprenticeship and employment opportunities and engages them in a range of employment experiences, such as: artistic performance, business administration, event management, marketing, public relations and digital media. It is delivered in partnership with a pan London network of programmes services, including: independent peer led youth programmes, voluntary youth and community projects, local authority and public sector youth services, private sector CSR led youth and community programmes

Boroughs United has consistently played to capacity audiences at venues including: Hackney’s Ocean Music Venue, the Hackney Empire and Indigo2. To date, over 2,500 young Londoners, including Leona Lewis, Diversity and Twist & Pulse, have performed in the show and managed the backstage production. Audiences of over 10,000 have watched the shows.

Direct annual engagement

350 young artists and practitioners directly engaged through participation in performances, training and volunteer programmes

165 youth engagement initiatives and organisations across the 33 boroughs

20,000 live audiences attending On Tour!, Quest and Showcase & Awards

The Crib

Formed in 1999, The Show Crib (The Crib) was created as a charity to address a recognised deficiency of youth provision in the Shoreditch area of Hackney. By January 2001, it was established as a detached youth project, offering a non-threatening environment for local young people from culturally diverse backgrounds. By 2002, the Crib’s youth membership grew to 430. It currently has over 600 young people aged 9–25 on its books, and sees them in a rotating pool of around 150 each week at different sessions and activities. Although these attendees are primarily from Hackney, many come from further afield, drawn by word of mouth and the reputation of the project.

The Crib has established working relations with the Youth Justice Board, the Youth Offending Team, the Drug Action Team and the Metropolitan Police. Working with the Hackney Crime Disorder partners the Crib engages in programmes to reduce re-offending and to tackle persistent offenders.

Staff work with borough based agencies to engage in early intervention initiatives. These interventions are based upon the themes of health, education, family welfare, drug awareness, bullying, professional advice and counselling. These initiatives are delivered by a combination of outreach workers and project-based workers.

The Crib provides a range of development opportunities and project-based activities, designed to promote social inclusion and enhance the social and personal education of the young people participating.

The Crib co-ordinates an active youth forum whose members, conceive and participate in a range of arts based development programmes, including: drama, dance, singing, DJing, MCing, spoken word and video workshops, and the forum produces the "One Voice" youth magazine. Other participatory activities conceived by the forum include the ground breaking “Trading Places” role reversal programme run in partnership with the Metropolitan Police.

The Crib enables, encourages and promotes the participation of socially excluded young people, between 9-25, who for varying reasons are unable or unwilling to access existing services and opportunities. The project provides a non-threatening environment to those young people, from diverse cultural backgrounds, which have real difficulties maintaining continuity in mainstream education and employment.

The Crib works with:

• Young single parents
• Those who do not regularly attend school or have been excluded
• Those at risk of offending or have offended
• Young persons who are in danger of, or have been placed on ABC orders (anti-social, behaviour contracts)
• Those who are directly or indirectly affected by drug and alcohol abuse
• Black, ethnic minority, Gay and Lesbians and asylum seekers.
• Young people who are looking for help and advice to further their social and educational achievements.

The Crib provides a supportive environment that gives young people a voice and a stake in their community and enables them to increase their self-esteem and raise achievement so that they can realise their full potential as young members of the community.

The Crib manages a number of innovative and participatory activities, aimed at the social, educational and personal development of its users.

Activities are suggested by the young people accessing the project and developed by them. Activities are also often managed with young people in a lead role, working alongside project staff, volunteers and peer mentors in project delivery.

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