Inspirational Riz and child exploitation

File photo dated 10/02/1i of actor Riz Ahmed, who revealed his new wife is the novelist Fatima Farhe

Trevor Ellis says that Riz Ahmed, who was born and raised in Wembley, should be an inspiration to the young - Credit: PA

Riz inspires youngsters

Trevor Ellis, Chalkhill Road, Wembley, writes:

Success is generally defined in two ways: based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions, and dependent on the mind or on an individual’s perception for its existence.

Riz Ahmed, has achieved a measure of success in music, acting and activism. 

I don’t know him personally but it is common knowledge that he grew up in Wembley and was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal as a heavy-metal drummer that begins to lose his hearing in the 2019 movie, Sound of Metal.

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Personal aspiration, good education and mind control, undoubtedly helped Riz along the path to his multifaceted career.

Further to that, he didn’t let racial distinction, religious affiliation or intangible cultural heritage stop him.

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The recent complaint about the government report that says: race and racism have become less important factors in explaining social disparities in the UK, stands in stark contrast to Riz Ahmed who has managed to fulfil some of his aspirations despite the relative disadvantages of growing up in a deprived borough.

I’m proud of Riz, and I hope that he’ll inspire other young people growing up in Wembley to believe in themselves and try to do the best they can for themselves despite the odds in society.

Protect children as nightlife reopens

Barnardo’s London Director Lynn Gradwell outside the charity’s regional office in Chillingworth Road

Barnardo’s London Director Lynn Gradwell - Credit: Barnardo's

Lynn Gradwell, director, Barnardo’s London, writes:

The past few weeks and months have been incredibly difficult for businesses in the hospitality sector which have been forced to shut their doors due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

We all know the closure of pubs, bars and restaurants has had a dreadful economic impact on the livelihoods of so many people, so the return of London’s night-time economy is to be welcomed.

But at Barnardo’s we know from our long expertise as the UK’s largest children’s charity that there is another side to the bustling fun of London’s night-time economy; one sadly where those who seek to harm and exploit children and young people use the hours of darkness as a time to operate.

That’s why Barnardo’s is raising awareness of its free Nightwatch training programme. A new toolkit will support the Nightwatch training to safeguard children and young people from exploitation by increasing awareness among businesses and services working in the night-time economy. 

The toolkit explains what child exploitation is, why businesses should care and what people should do if they have concerns that a child is being exploited. It includes a helpful checklist for businesses including hotels, licenced venues and taxi drivers to ensure they are fully equipped and knowledgeable about how to spot the signs of exploitation and how to respond to prevent children from being harmed.

Barnardo’s has created a vital network of eyes and ears after dark that will help keep children and young people safe.

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