By Andy Carpenter
Charlton Athletics' home game against Leyton Orient on the 31st March marked the fourth annual event of the Street Violence Ruins Lives Campaign.
Both teams, and the match officials, wore specially designed t-shirts for the occasion in both the warm up and as they emerged from the tunnel.
To mark the occasion a number of guests were invited to attend a pre-match event held in the Casino at The Valley. Over 60 guests attended the day including Sally Knox, Isaac Attram and George and Debbie Kinsella who all lost their sons to street violence.
Mayor of Bexley Ray Sams, Charlton Athletic Chaplain Matt Baker, Police Borough Commanders from Greenwich, Bexley and Merton and Tom Storey and Guy Jackson from REDS10, Patrons of the Crime Reduction programme, also attended the day.
Nick Darvill, Crime Reduction Manager, said, 'This event is always a reflective day for me and we are joined by more parents who have lost their sons in violent attacks on the streets of London. It makes me think about the work we undertake on a daily basis, how we can make continual improvements and the size of the task ahead'.
The same event also marked a special occasion for Vincent Sam, aged 17 from Thamesmead, as the youth-led 99% Campaign, which challenges negative stereotypes of young people in London, awarded Vincent with the 99% Campaign Award for Positive Contribution to the Local Community.
Vincent Sam, who was one of the outstanding graduates from the 2011 National Citizen Service with CACT, has proved to be a role model for other young people. He helped to deliver a seven a side football tournament which raised money for The Rob Knox Foundation and received countless awards and accreditations whilst also becoming a fully fledge Young Advisor.
Vincent said, "I am very proud to receive this award, because it signifies that the positive steps that young people such as myself take to contribute to the community are being recognised and rewarded. And I am very grateful that Charlton Athletic Community Trust and the 99% Campaign have given me such opportunities to do so."
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