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'Soul in the City' Going on Week Two

With the support of a number of charities, local councils and the Metropolitan Police, over 420 projects are taking place in all of London's boroughs and beyond between July 26 and August 6
( [email protected] ) Aug 04, 2004 08:04 PM EDT

A joint effort of over 700 local churches from all denominations across the Greater London is continuing this week following last week’s successful programs. Since last Monday, more than 15,000 Christian youth from all over the UK and abroad have participated in ‘Soul in the City,’ taking part in community projects, sports initiatives, concerts and other community events across Greater London.

Since July 26, Soul in the City has worked in conjunction with local “partner churches”, police and local government to “ensure that they meet the needs of London’s many and varied communities, of all faiths and backgrounds, and help to create lasting change that respects people of all or no faiths,” according to Soul in the City coordinators.

Endorsed by leading public figures, including Prime Minister Tony Blair, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens, and the Chief Rabbi Professor Dr Jonathan Sacks, Soul in the City has gathered youth from as far away as Australia, USA, Canada, Malaysia, Norway and The Netherlands to take part in numerous programs through out the UK.

Last week, Soul in the City teams participated in projects such as the London Borough of Lambeth “Adventure Playground Project,” renovating a playground situated in North Lambeth – painting, gardening and rubbish clearing – to give young people in the area a safer, cleaner, and better-looking place to play.

In another project , the London Borough of Westminster “Peabody Project” Soul in the City teams repainted stairwells (which young people from the estate have chosen as “hang-out” areas); landscaping an existing memorial garden; providing complimentary window boxes and flowers to all residents who want them, and hosting a community barbeque. A children’s holiday club – “Kids Crew” was also provided at a local hall.

Jasmine Dorsett, a hostel officer working for Ealing Council commented, "They are giving residents a quality of life that the council just doesn't have the money for. They're bringing to the hostels color and a homely feel-things other people take for granted."

This week, many more projects will resume as volunteers and churches across the Greater London show their support for the joint effort. The projects will run up through August 6, concluded by a celebration in Trafalgar Square this Saturday August 7, 3 p.m.-5 p.m.

Soul in the City is being co-ordinated by Soul Survivor, a registered charity based in Watford, Hertfordshire. General information about Soul in the City can be found at: www.soulinthecity.co.uk