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Dear friends and supporters,

Thanks to your generosity, 2018 has been another year in which our beneficiary organisations have helped thousands of disadvantaged young people across London discover their potential and resist the lure of gangs and street crime.

And yet, tragically, the number of people falling victim to knife crime in 2018 has reached its highest level in ten years. While the reasons for this are undoubtedly varied and complex, it can be no coincidence that this rise follows a decade of severe cuts to funding of youth provisions, revealing just how important creating opportunities and pathways for young people is to the prevention of violent crime.

Together with our partners and your help we shall redouble our efforts to tackle the root causes of knife crime in 2019 and beyond. And we wish you a safe, happy and prosperous new year. 

The Trustees
Your donations fund youth work in the majority of the most affected boroughs across Greater London. To learn about all 15 of the organisations currently supported by Tom's Trust, click here.
Estella Ap Rhys Pryce, left, at the opening of Tom's Farm at The Nightingale School, Wandswoth in November 2009.


It is with great sadness that we have to report the passing of Thomas’s mother, Estella, on October 8, 2018.

It was a huge shock when Tom was killed in January 2006, but Estella’s faith and resilience helped us cope with the tragedy. When Linklaters suggested a Memorial Trust for Tom she embraced the idea, and has worked enthusiastically as a Trustee from the beginning. She took a keen interest in every one of the projects supported by the Trust, visiting as many as possible.
Highlights included the opening of Tom’s Farm at Nightingale School in 2009 and being given an Outstanding Achievement award by St Giles Trust in April 2016.  Being a musician she took a particular interest in championing the Bursary Winners at the Midi Music Company in Lewisham.
Estella was born on April 11, 1943 at Oxhey, Herts. After school, where she passed Grade 8 on the piano, she trained as a primary school teacher at Froebel College, Roehampton. Her first appointment was at a school in Brixton, which she loved. Soon after getting married she went with her husband to East Africa where he was working as Civil Engineer. As soon as people heard she was a teacher, she was asked to be Head of the local school, which she thoroughly enjoyed. Returning to the UK in 1979 she continued teaching, but later re-trained as a piano teacher, giving lessons to children and adults privately until she retired in 2009.
Definite in her views, she had a great sense of fun and good humour. Her focus was always to see the best in people and she had immense empathy for those in difficulty, disadvantaged or deprived in some way. This is the ethos behind Tom’s Trust, that everyone can be helped to find their right path and to achieve their potential.
Estella is greatly missed, but the work of the Trust and the principles that she embodied will continue.
Click here if you would like to make a donation in Estella's memory
Last year Tom’s Trust began supporting Camden Spear Trust, which works with vulnerable young people not in education, training or employment. Through a six week course and a further year’s support, young people become work-ready and many gain meaningful paid employment. 
Between November 2017 and June 2018 29 trainees were helped into work or training, such as Daniel who is working with Sainsbury’s, Dylan who has started at WHSmith, Yashir who has begun an apprenticeship in Mechanical Engineering, and Che is enjoying her job in childcare. Four of the trainees are studying for qualifications in college and one trainee has applied to study a Foundation Degree in Counselling, Coaching, and Mentoring at university.
They are still receiving excellent referrals from organisations across Camden, with 71% of the most recent cohort from referrers. They have had referrals from YOT, hostels and supported housing services such as Area Camden, Tavistock Centre, Brandon Centre, and Haverstock School. They hosted a Camden Referral Breakfast in March, where 17 people came from various organisations such as Camden YOT, Camden Children, School’s, and Families Services, and new JobCentre Plus advisers, to hear about the work Spear does and how they can refer young people to the programme. This enabled them to meet some of the new referrers in order to solidify and build on these relationships. They received three referrals for their current cohort as a result of this breakfast.
Daniel’s Story
When Daniel (not his real name) was in school studying his AS levels, he suffered with anxiety and depression, to the point where he had to drop out of his studies. He planned to re-start the following year, but he wasn’t mentally well enough to continue.
Daniel felt that he had run out of options; all his friends were moving on with their lives and he was getting left behind. He was referred to Spear by a family friend, and when he first spoke to a Spear coach he felt he could not attend a group session as this would be too much for him to cope with.
The Spear coaches kept calling Daniel to make him feel at ease before attending the first session, and he built up enough courage to come to Spear. Daniel said that on the first day he couldn’t believe that a six-week programme could change his life in the way the coaches said it could. Over the following weeks, Daniel increased massively in confidence, and his anxiety affected him less than before. At the end of the programme, Daniel spoke at our Spear Celebration evening and told his story in front of fifty people. He said, “I didn’t believe Spear could change my life, but they did”.
Now Daniel is working in HMV and is enjoying his first ever job!
Network Forum Meeting 2018
This year’s Network Forum Meeting was a great success, attended by 20 representatives from 12 of the charities supported by Tom’s Trust.
One of the most recent charities to be helped by Tom’s Trust is Coram's Fields. Marco Greco gave us a very interesting illustrated talk about the long history and work of the charity, which offers a youth centre with a music studio, IT suite and creative art space. This runs 5 days a week, 48 weeks a year.
This was followed by Graeme Duncan explaining the problem of inequality in the standard of education in different parts of the UK. He has set up Right to Succeed, a charity which aims to tackle this problem and to deliver collective solutions. It started in 2015 in a community in Blackpool, and is now being replicated in Doncaster and Belfast.
Joel Balkwill, CEO of Spiral, showed us how he and his team (see images above) are helping to find employment for young people who have left school with little or no idea of what they want to do next. Tom’s Trust is supporting their Futures Festival careers fair which was held in Brixton in the Autumn. The premise is that:
  1. Young people should be excited about their future.
  2. Be equipped with the skills to achieve their potential.
  3. Be motivated to strive for a fulfilling career.
Amelia Viney, CEO of the Advocacy Academy, then gave us a spirited talk on the imperative of driving systemic change in education and the importance of youth advocacy.

After the talks all attendees took the opportunity to meet and discuss their work with other Tom’s Trust partners, as we all have the same aim, which is to improve the opportunities and prospects of children and young people in London.

Huge thanks to Linklaters LLP, who provided the IT experts needed for the various presentations and a  wonderful array of food and refreshments.  
Copyright © 2018 Tom ap Rhys Pryce Memorial Trust, All rights reserved.

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