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Growing up with gangs, poverty and knife crime – podcast

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In November 2018, Phillip Alston, the UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty visited the Bollo youth club in Acton, west London. At the time of his visit, the Bollo was having to move its premises to a building half its original size and the club members were upset and worried about the transition.

The Guardian’s social affairs editor, Robert Booth, talks to Anushka Asthana about how he and producer Joshua Kelly spent four months with two teenagers from the Bollo. They talk about the difficulties of life in an area riven by gang violence and huge inequality. Rising knife crime coincides with deep cuts to the UK’s youth facilities. Since 2012, 760 youth clubs have closed and 4,500 youth worker jobs have been lost, according to analysis by Unison. Since 2010, English councils have slashed 62% from their spending on youth services – more than £700m.

Plus: Helen Pidd discusses why school cuts are forcing the headteacher of a school in Stockport to close at lunchtime on Fridays.

The sun rises over the City of London

Photograph: Paul Davey / Barcroft Images

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