Paul Canoville, Chelsea’s first black player, has been named as the first ambassador of Fearless – a new youth service from the charity Crimestoppers.
The announcement has been made less than a week since the murder of 14-year-old Jermaine Cools in West Croydon; Fearless provides a channel for teenagers and young adults to report their concerns about crime, with guaranteed anonymity, in the hope of reducing the number of tragedies occurring on our streets.
The Paul Canoville Foundation has joined forces with Crimestoppers in a partnership which aims to fight hate crime, including racism, and provide support for young people.
Canoville made 79 appearances for Chelsea between 1981 and 1986, and the winger’s goals helped the side win the then Second Division in 1984. Earlier this year, the club recognised Canoville’s contribution to Chelsea by naming part of their Stamford Bridge ground after him.
The Canoville Suite hosted its first event to introduce Canoville as a Fearless Football Ambassador yesterday morning.
A group of youngsters were there to hear his powerful story and how young people can continue to keep their communities safe.
Fearless provides a 100 per cent anonymous online reporting service, appealing for young people to become champions of their community.
Serious youth violence is increasing. Jermaine Cools was the 27th teenager to be killed through knife crime in London this year, and the third in Croydon.
The Paul Canoville Foundation was established in 2015 and works with schools and youth organisations to promote wellbeing, confidence and resilience through workshops and sport in conjunction with partners.
Fearless says it is keen to engage with local partners to build on preventative measures that aim to help tackle youth violence.
Fearless works in partnership with secondary schools, youth groups and other organisations, speaking directly to young people on how to report their concerns about crime, 100 per cent anonymously.
“This is about our youth making their communities safe again,” Canoville said.
“We’re not asking you to be a snitch – but to be a hero to help stop youth crime.
“I’m calling on fellow ex pros and current players to follow my lead in supporting the Fearless project to help cut youth violence. Being aware of how harmful crime can be is also key which is why I’m so pleased to be working with Crimestoppers and Fearless to help address this issue in the wider community.”
To get more information on Fearless and the resources available to young people and their peers, visit Fearless.org.
If you have any information about crime, you can fill out the simple and secure online form on the Fearless.org website.
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