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breaking the cycle assembly

Responses from Attendees

"I think the assembly went well and the points put across were great. I think the biggest influence of the speech/talks were the personal events and stories, which many people can imagine as their own. The point of forgiveness is easy to understand, however, hard to create. Many people say and think they have forgiven however they haven’t. It is still in their mind. I think that is what we don’t understand, how to change words into feelings and fully mean them! How do we know if we have fully forgiven someone/something?”

- Peter Rogers, Student, Year 10


"You came to my school, on the 2nd of June I think it was and I have really seen a difference in the way that people are speaking to me they aren't throwing lots of bad comments as much now and life is better. I think that people listened.

- Sam Stenton, Student, Year 8


".. the young people absolutely loved it and it was great to see such a buzz of energy and optimism coming from them all afterwards. The teachers too were blown away and several came to me and said things like 'this is like an answer to prayers'. One of the young people hugged me and said 'this is the best thing that has happened at our school'

- Charli Faux, Youth Worker


"When listening to the personal stories of the two speakers I couldn’t believe the tragic happenings and how they had coped. I found the stories very touching and it led me to believe if they have coped with such hard things then maybe I can use forgiveness in my life to make life’s challenges easier. I felt the speakers were very brave to tell their personal stories and I have great respect for them. I believe this was very helpful.”

- Yasim Grant, Student, Year 9


"Hearing what was said made me reflect on my own life. I have been brought up as a catholic, but since I started secondary school, I have started to enjoy getting revenge on people, but I know it’s not good. Last week I found out that my girl spread a rumor around the school about me. I saw her yesterday, and I gave her a dirty look. She saw me and said to my friend “Yeah, I f**ing hate him!” If I hadn’t heard your stories, I know I would have gotten revenge for that without thinking twice.

- Student, Year 10


"I thought that the speeches were very effective because they gave their own experiences of what they had suffered. Everyone was interested and wanted to hear what they had to say. It made me think that if people have forgiven people for doing unthinkable things, we can forgive people what they do minor things wrong. I think that telling other teenagers what you have experienced will touch them in the same way and hopefully it well make people think twice about revenge, and hopefully people will chose to forgive instead of resulting in violence.”

- Sarah Rowland, Student, Year 10


"I am writing to thank you for inviting us to "Breaking the Cycle" which was moving and incredibly powerful. The joint messages of forgiveness and responsibility could not have been more effectively conveyed. The complementary personalities of the main speakers blended together to create an experience that I will never forget, and I can only imagine their impact on the students!"

- Jackie Hayles, Staff, Hastings College of Art & Technology


"I was particularly touched and moved by the cardboard tombstones that were on display with the names and ages of the youth that have died to knife and gun crime. This showed me and the youth in attendance how real and serious are the times we are living in."

- Amanda Marquis, yr 10 facilitator Eastlea Community School, London


"I enjoyed the event immensely. As a local Councillor, I was happy to see something so positive, and our young people's ability to relate to the message. I hope assemblies like this will be done in more schools in the borough, and further afield."

-Councillor Denise Stafford, Newham, London


"It was an honour being there on Thursday. All the speakers were so eloquent but more importantly they were 'real' and as such connected with the young people they were talking to. It was great to see and I was touched by the experience."

- Mr G Jarrett, Robert Clack Secondary School London