A new group helping disadvantaged young people escape gang life celebrated its official launch with a fashion show in Bermondsey last Thursday.
‘Reformed’ is an organisation that helps the borough’s youth escape a life of crime by providing them with a creative outlet, by designing and printing their own clothing labels.
“I was living in Peckham and heading down the wrong path,” said Ramon, 22, a member of the group. “When I was fifteen my best friend was murdered and I knew I had to do something to change my life. It woke me up.”
He joined Southwark Works, an employment enterprise scheme for young people, where he gained work experience at the BBC. It was also where he met Julian Wright and Dean Foster, who went on to found Reformed.
“Julian and Dean helped me realise my potential and appreciate that it is possible to go in a different direction. Life is a road and Reformed helped me find the right way through. Now I’m hoping to start my own business and do my own part in helping other young people.”
The show was a great success, with a boisterous crowd enjoying the entertainment and snapping up the specially-designed t-shirts. Children performed a dance show and older ‘Reformed’ members showed off a variety of their designed clothing.
Co-founder Julian said: “It went really, really well and everyone was very supportive. We sold a lot of shirts and people seemed really excited by the company.
“I am so pleased that so many people got a chance to see what we are all about at our launch. We want to help people avoid that downward spiral of crime and gang life. Putting their energy towards being creative is a great way to do this.”
Visit Reformed’s website for more information – www.reformeduk.com