Paul Osborne has been a Boys' Brigade, with Girls Association leader in Tottenham, North London for the last 20 years.
He was inspired as a Boys Brigade member when he was just 13, and has gone on to offer this inspiration to others. The activities they run aim to help the young people have fun, make friends and try new things. The benefits to the boys and girls include learning about themselves, getting to know people and learning to work together, exploring and being active in their community and personally developing.
Tottenham is a poor area, where young people of all races and religions are easily susceptible to falling into gang culture. The Boys' Brigade gives all boys and girls the chance to avoid that path.
In light of the recent riots in Tottenham the challenge will be to show that not all young people in Tottenham are rioters, there are a large number of young people who are doing good things that do not get reported. For example the younger children make Christmas and Easter cards and deliver them to the local old people's home, some of older children 15+ give up their own time to take part and assist in taking care of homeless people in a night shelter in the winter. The also undertake many sponsored activities throughout the year to help people less fortunate than themselves.
Paul gives 4 hours a week as a leader in change of the Junior Section, making sure that the team of 4 leaders plan a fun and varied programme of activities each week. This makes the children want to return each week they are rewarded for activities they take part in and learning gained by a badge structure, which is based on an individuals learning as each child is different and will be at a different developmental stage. In addition they arrange trips out including weekend stays away and visits to educational establishments so they can learn about the world they live in.
He also assists in the older sections 12-18 year old where I have coached the football and othe