Barbette Batasoul is a resident of Wornington Green and parent of four children, who all live at home. Barbette has been instrumental in working with P2P to help end the cycle of conflict between young people in Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster.
Living close to Harrow Road, Barbette has always been very aware of the conflict between some young people in Ladbroke Grove and their counterparts across the road in Westminster. In an attempt to solve this problem, P2P organised a parents’ awareness course to try and get parents from both boroughs working together to try and solve this common problem.
At first, there were very few parents from Ladbroke Grove involved and Barbette has been a driving force in getting more parents involved and making the course a success. Commenting on her decision to get involved, she says: “Since P2P has been here they have made a big difference. They provide focus and support for young people, give them opportunities and point them in the right direction.”
“I owe a lot to them and so do my children, so we need to give something back and give them our support.” In light of recent events throughout London and elsewhere in the country, Barbette believes that it is increasingly important for parents to take an interest in what their children are doing. “Too many parents just leave their kids on the streets and don’t ask enough questions about where they are going and what they are doing. You can’t take a back seat – events have proved that.”
With four children between the ages of 9 and 19, Barbette describes her role as a full-time parent. “I’m always there nagging them and chasing them and making sure they are kept busy. This is where P2P has been a huge support to me and helped give the children something to do.” With one son now studying at Roehampton University (as well as volunteering with P2P and RBKC), another about to embark on “A” Levels and two girls performing well at school, Barbette is living proof that active parenting makes a big contribution towards keeping children out of trouble.
She describes P2P’s parents’ awareness scheme as a huge success which has helped break down barriers between the two local communities. Four boys from each of the boroughs have been away on a residential course together and have returned with very positive feedback. The next step will be to start spending time together as families – taking part in group activities and day trips out of London. “All of these things help them understand that they have a lot in common and can get along just fine. They don’t need to have a beef with other kids just because they come from another area or postcode.”