Knife crime is everybody’s business, says charity

ELBA (The East London Business Alliance) has partnered with The Big Issue to produce an exclusive London edition of the magazine to raise awareness of the issue of knife crime 2,000 copies distributed at Westfield Stratford City this week to support young people.

A charity supporting young people in East London called on London businesses to support their work with grassroots organisations and young people in order to prevent further fatalities.

In the shadow of the recent tragic news about yet more knife crime fatalities, ELBA (East London Business Alliance) is running a week-long campaign to mark their 30 years of service, in partnership with The Big Issue (TBI).

According to the ONS, 14,725 knife crimes – including 74 fatalities – were recorded in London in 2018, making it one of the worst years on record for the capital. In response to the spike in youth violence, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has argued that a community-based, public health approach is the best means of tackling the problem.

This is where ELBA steps in. The outreach charity works with local businesses, grassroots organisations and thousands of young people to enable projects that help prevent vulnerable young people from getting caught up in knife crime, and instead opens them up to jobs and other opportunities.

ELBA and TBI have partnered to produce the special edition of the magazine. The result is an eight-page supplement, running in all copies of the London edition that focuses on the issue of knife crime and the work of the charity over the past three decades.

ELBA members Westfield Stratford City and asset management firm T Rowe Price, have supported the campaign, and staff from these companies will be distributing over 2,000 copies of the magazine that address these issues on Monday and Tuesday in Westfield Stratford City, joined by pupils from Norlington School and Sixth Form in Leyton.

The money raised off the back of the sale of the copies distributed at the shopping centre will go towards Norlington School and Sixth Form, beneficiaries of ELBA and Place2Be, a children’s mental health charity, the national charity partner of T Rowe Price.

Knife crime is everybody's business, says charity

Ramish Sarfraz, a student from Norlington School, who took part, said:

“ELBA took me on a trip to Barclays where I learned about different elements of the business. It opened my eyes to the pathways that lead to different jobs and how I can think about my future career a bit differently. It was inspirational.

I’m here today to learn more customer service skills, retail skills and also it’s a great CV booster to do volunteer work. It’s good so far!”

Ian Parkes, Chief Executive Officer, ELBA, said:

“This partnership with The Big Issue showcases what has been done in recent years – but also highlights the distance yet to travel.

“For 30 years, ELBA businesses have been helping young people make the most of their talent. Our aim is to help every young person achieve the jobs and careers their qualifications, drive and ambition deserve. We hope more employers will join those that we work with and give every young person a brighter future.”

Oliver Waddington- Ball, Head of Partnerships at The Big Issue, said:

“We are so pleased to be partnering with ELBA. As the Mayor of London has outlined, lack of opportunity leaves young people vulnerable to negative forces in society. It was brilliant to work with their team so closely and raise awareness of the fantastic work that ELBA has done to ensure brighter futures for East London’s young people.”

Established in 1989, ELBA draws on the talent, resources and workforce of Canary Wharf and City of London businesses to help meet local needs through employee volunteering and support. ELBA now has over 70 members from business and public bodies, and operate in nine boroughs, covering 25 per cent of London’s population. Utilising the expertise of business volunteers and the resources they can access, ELBA creates programmes to unlock the potential of young people.

The Big Issue, sold by vendors to lift themselves out of poverty, is available to buy across the UK for £2.50. The special edition will be available to buy from 14th October across Greater London.

For more information visit: For more information on opportunities with ELBA, visit