LSBU alumnus Stephen Addison honoured for helping young people in East London escape gang culture
29 January 2019
LSBU alumnus Stephen Addison has been honoured in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list this year with a British Empire medal, in recognition of his services to young people in Barking and Dagenham.
Stephen, a LSBU Business Administration graduate and social entrepreneur, is the founder of BoxUp Crime, a social youth organisation operating out of East London. He works with vulnerable young people, motivating them to refocus their sense of purpose and recapture their dreams and aspirations, while providing them with an escape route out of gang culture.
Following the loss of a close friend to gang violence, Stephen managed to transform his own life and leave gangs behind by teaching non-contact boxing skills in schools, pupil referral units and community centres in London.
Stephen Addison said: “I feel very humble getting this award, but I’ve lost seven kids in the space of a year that have been murdered. We’ve seen 131 murders in London alone. And the reality is, these young people, where we work and where we’re from, they don’t have access to hope, they don’t get to see success, they don’t get to see awards.
“So, when I receive this award, it’s not for me, it’s for these young kids to show them that I’ve come from the same mess as they have.
“My vision is to see young people all over London, all over the UK, have opportunities to win awards like this, put suits on, forget about their past, forget about all the murders that they’ve had to witness, and actually to bring the hope back to their communities.”
Stephen is one of three LSBU alumni to have received an award in the 2019 New Year’s Honours list. The other two are Joy Ongcachuy OBE, who works as a Robotic Lead nurse in surgery at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel and Ruth Oshikanlu MBE, who is a practising midwife and parenting coach.