Monday, September 18, 2006


Burton upon Trent, Staffs: Kim Smith

When a local teenager died of a heroin overdose, Kim Smith united with other parents in her neighbourhood to try and stop drug abuse and antisocial behaviour taking over their community. Kim, 42, a mother of three, says: ‘We felt things were getting out of hand and as no-one seemed to be doing anything it was up to us to save our children.’
Kim and other parents in Burton upon Trent, Staffs, spoke with young people to find out what would help to get them off street corners. They launched a campaign, raised funds and got the local council to provide two empty shops which they turned into a cafe offering help and advice. Kim says: ‘It really worked. We interacted with some of the worst kids, gave them our respect and they gave their respect back.’
But now funds have run out, the cafe has been forced to close, and the kids are back on the streets. ‘It’s such a waste,’ says Kim. ‘The cafe decreased antisocial behaviour and vandalism, and bridged the gap between the old, the young, and the police. It makes me so mad that we proved how to make a difference but we weren’t given enough support to keep it going. I’m joining Mums’ Army because I want the authorities to actually do their job. We have a solution. But we don’t have the support we need.’
Kim Smith,
Burton upon Trent, Staffs

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