On Friday, a woman came to my advice surgery. Odiri started and runs and inspires an organisation called Kori. Kori works with young people – mainly from ethnic minorities – to improve their skills, language, vocabulary and general education – but extending this help on through to their performance and artistic activities.
I was really impressed with the work they do – it is about creating leaders and inspiration and aspiration. But it is such a struggle for genuinely excellent groups like Kori to keep going and to get bits of funding. That’s what makes me mad about Ken Livingstone and the London Development Agency. All these excellent groups who could really benefit from assistance – and who would in return really benefit our communities – and yet the LDA has sloshed around so much money with so little control – and with Ken Livingstone repeated refusing to take seriously complaints about lack of control or wrong decisions being made.
Later in the day Marlon came to see me. Marlon has been running an outfit called Kush. It’s about getting young people involved in black film making and so on. Marlon wants also to get funding – but he said that ultimately he didn’t really believe funding was such a great thing as when it runs out – you are in trouble. He would rather make Kush self-sustaining – a small business really. He seemed to be fanatical about black film and about going into schools to inspire young people to get involved. So good luck to him too.
And then it was more inspiration. Off to give out the medals to the winners from Whizz Kids’ obstacle course races organised by Burk Gravis at White Hart Lane Community Sports Centre. Judging by the noise levels the kids certainly seemed to be having a fantastic time!
Great fun was had by all – but I was somewhat shocked to find that the Centre only gets £32,000 per year to develop sport for young people in Haringey. So it was a day of three organisations – all doing great work – and all on close to a shoestring budget. And yet you turn to other areas and there’s so much badly spent and wasted money. It’s not a matter of saying spend, spend, spend (though I’m happy to defend the need to have reasonable spending levels) – but rather saying we need to cut the waste, and remember the worthy causes that miss out because of waste and carelessness elsewhere.