Moving accounts from an ex-gang member and parents trying to tackle gang culture were heard at a seminar aimed at addressing the rise in knife crime .
More than 70 parents and professionals attended the One Life, No Knife event at St Charles Sixth Form College, in St Charles Square, North Kensington.
It was arranged by Kensington and Chelsea Council to offer advice on how to keep young people safe.
In a recent fatal incident in west London, 19-year-old Lewis Blackman died on February 19 from stab wounds after attending a party in Kensington.
Those attending One Life, No Knife heard from people whose lives have been directly affected by knife crime, the police, community support services and experts in the practical steps that can be taken by families to safeguard their children.
Abraham Junior Udofia, an ex-offender who now speaks to young people about ways out of gang culture, gave a moving account of his experiences and the need for young people to have others they can connect with showing them there is a better way than knives and gangs.
Suzella Palmer a mother and academic spoke about the challenges young people, parents and teachers can face in dealing with youths who may be excluded from school or become disconnected with the school system.
Kensington and Chelsea Police borough commander Raffaele D’Orsi spoke about the need for a partnership between the police and public.
Kelly Reid, from parents' group Parents Voice, spoke about the support parents need.
She said mums and dads must also understand what is happening and how they can help their children and speak to them about the issues, before giving advice on how to spot potential problems that could indicate a young person is being pulled into a gang culture.
“It was a moving and fascinating event packed full of really useful information," said Cllr Mary Weal, head of communities at Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council.
"What Abraham had to say about the challenges of getting out of gang culture and the need to have people to whom young people can relate and who are prepared to listen to and guide them is vitally important.
"It was also clear from the meeting that we need to support parents to understand the issues their children face so that their children feel that they can speak to their parents about these difficult issues.”
Last year London Mayor Sadiq Khan launched the London Needs You Alive campaign to reduce knife crime in the capital.
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