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My Name Is Jay

Jay wants to leave behind a life in gangs, but he thinks those in a position to help don't care about young men like him, and he doesn't know how to do it on his own.

Jay wants to leave behind a life in gangs, but he thinks those in a position to help don't care about young men like him, and he doesn't know how to do it on his own.

Jay takes us with him on a tour of his neighbourhood - revealing an alternative geography of East London, one marked by territorial lines which are dangerous to cross; shops and street corners where friends have been shot, stabbed and died; and places of safety where he introduces us to friends he grew up and who have shared his life. At the end of a long day, he explains his motivation for wanting to get out.

After that, he sets out to meet some people who might be able to help. In a frank and open conversation he speaks to Callum, a young man in Glasgow whose story contains echoes of Jay's own, and finds out for the first time that the problems he thought were confined to his neighbourhood are far from unique. And then he goes in search of those with the power to help: a trauma surgeon, the local police commander, and the Mayor of Newham. He wants to challenge the simplistic narrative about why young men get involved in gangs in the first place, and find out why there isn't more support - of the type that was available for Callum in Glasgow - for those who want to get out.

Produced by Gaetan Portal.

Available now

28 minutes