The Youth Justice Legal Centre (YJLC) has partnered with the Raheem Sterling Foundation to raise awareness of children’s rights and the importance of improving young people’s experiences within the ever-evolving criminal justice system.

YJLC is operated by expert lawyers with knowledge of youth justice law and provides specialist youth justice training, a resource hub and free legal advice. It works in collaboration with civil society, legal bodies and educational entities to ensure professionals have the tools and knowledge to better represent children.

The partnership launched at a celebratory event at Shoreditch Town Hall on Tuesday 11th October. Over 150 people attended on the evening to witness a panel of guest speakers, including Clive Ellington and Abdi Farah, discussing the importance of mentoring and young people’s rights.

An interview between Raheem and Clive was played to the guests, where Raheem praised the efforts of Clive as he was growing up and described mentoring as ‘’a blessing in disguise and will no doubt be cherished as one that, not just with my kids, but with the young kids that I’m around now. I will always try and be that person to communicate with them, give them motivation and life lessons’’

The partnership fits with Raheem Sterling Foundation’s mission and ethos to improve young people’s social mobility, life opportunities, education, and future careers.

Commenting on the partnership, Clive Ellington, Chair of Trustees for the Raheem Sterling Foundation, ‘‘We feel extremely privileged to be working alongside Laura, Katya and the YJLC team to bring greater awareness for the incredible work they do for young people.’’

‘’Raheem, myself and the rest of the Foundation team are immensely passionate about improving young people’s lives which includes giving adults and guardians around them the advice and knowledge needed to make them better equipped in representing our young people.’’ 

‘’I look forward to the great work we will produce in collaboration and more importantly, give children in Brent, Manchester and Kingston, Jamaica the support they need to thrive.’’

YJLC offers various platforms to help young people including an advice line run by youth justice specialist lawyers which provides support to lawyers, professionals, members of the public and children. In addition, it offers an array of resources and training including legal guides, expert-led seminars, and comprehensive training courses.

Laura Cooper & Katya Moran, Co-Heads of YJLC said, “This is such an important partnership for us. Like the foundation, we believe children should get the right support so they can realise their true potential.

We work with the youth justice sector to share knowledge, circulate innovation, and develop best practice. Children should be treated as children first, and we must work together to ensure their rights are upheld.”

YJLC is a part of a wider charity ‘Just for Kids Law’ which supports and encourages young people to stand up for their rights and overcome any difficulties they may face, from issues in school to trouble with the police. YJLC focuses on furthering and improving children’s experiences in the criminal justice system.

The Raheem Sterling Foundation and YJLC will collaborate on numerous projects to aid children’s rights and experiences, and develop a number of campaigns to highlight the importance of representing young people within the criminal justice system.