Winter 2009

The Tom Easton Flavasum Trust

 
 

Winter 2009

Welcome to the first newsletter from the Flavasum Trust. Its aim is to keep you in touch with what we are doing and let you know about events and activities you might want to support. If you prefer not to receive future newsletters, please click newsletter and unsubscribe using the email address it was sent to.

Theatre

Arc Theatre, whose anti-knife crime play "Stereo" has so impressed us, is premiering "Boy X", the third play in their trilogy, at the EC1 Music Project on 17 February. EC1 and Islington Council have funded two free performances for local people in memory of Tom.

"Boy X" has been written by Clifford Oliver and developed through workshops drawing on real life experiences of living on gang dominated estates. It is targeted at 12 to 16 year-olds and explores the peer pressure to get involved in gangs.

We will continue to work closely with Arc, trying to find new ways to get their plays into schools, and helping them to reach beyond London.

Through UNITY

On 28 January, over 175 people attended a special Through UNITY event for families who have lost someone close through knife or gun crime. Many attending came from support agencies and organisations but, importantly, 14 families who have been directly affected were present to express their concerns to Tony McNulty, the minister for London.

Flavasum is represented on the board of Through UNITY, so we arranged for Arc Theatre to make a short (and very impressive) presentation on our behalf, promoting the use of interactive theatre to reach and influence young people.

A poster campaign warning retailers of the consequences of selling knives to under-age young people was launched, as well as several youth-diversion projects. The most important outcome for Flavasum has been a request for us to organise a presentation of "Boy X" at a ministerial London anti-knife crime conference in March.

Research

Flavasum is providing a grant of £1750 to the Comedy School to evaluate the impact of its anti-knife play "It's No Joke!" on young people in primary schools. We think it is particularly important to reach children before they move on to secondary school because many of their attitudes have been formed by then – especially through contact with friends and relatives who think they are safer if they carry a knife or another weapon.

The evaluation will help us find out how effectively theatre and performance can influence this age group. After all, one of the most significant results of our Flavasum surveys has been the realisation that it is under 11s who feel the least safe on London streets, which means their opportunities to socialise have become much more restricted. How can we let that continue?

Music

We are completing a locally funded short series of music based sessions to give young people in Royston something to do outside of school hours. It hasn't been easy because the take-up through the local secondary (where Tom went to school) was nil. Instead, we were helped greatly by friends at a drop-in centre/cafe in Royston who went out of their way to get young people interested. A small group of them have been producing a CD during the sessions, so now we are thinking about how we can take the project forward in 2009.

Voodoo

The CD and vinyl of Tom's "Voodoo" track has now been produced, which we will use to promote Flavasum and its message. You can hear a clip by clicking here. We are planning to follow this with a compilation CD made up of tracks from some well-known artists, as well as unsigned bands and singers.

If you have any suggestions as to who we should ask, please let us know. The tracks don’t have to be about knife and gun crime, but we’ll use the artists' willingness to support Flavasum to raise funds for our other projects.

 

Please visit our website and if you have any comments, let us know. We are always delighted when people leave a few words on the Flavasum guestbook. It shows there are people out there who care! And of course, we always need donations to continue our work...