18-year-old Shanea Oldham was spurred into action after a teenager was stabbed in her neighbourhood. She went to help him lying in the street and what she witnessed left a huge mark on her. She vowed to put an end to the increasing amount of violence in Newham.
She began working with the police to act as a liaison between them and young people to improve stop and search perceptions. She has taken part in marches and rallies, and worked to create a dialogue between youngsters and decision makers in Newham. Her calm, authoritative and knowledgeable manner along with her passion and drive impressed everyone she met. She was determined to bring about change and reduce the fear amongst teenagers on the streets.
Her holistic approach to the issue of youth safety has seen her take a direct, no-nonsense approach, even arranging for a Red Cross instructor to come in to provide First Aid Training to 6th Form students in school so they knew how to deal with stab injuries and potentially save a life. Her teacher said “Shanea is a passionate young person, whose work is appreciated not only in her local community in East London, but nationwide and by the Church.”
Shanea Oldham, 18
St Bonaventures, Forest Gate (Diocese of Brentwood)