Pupils helped distribute a special edition of the Big Issue aimed at tackling knife crime.

Students from Norlington School and Sixth Form in Leyton handed out more than 2,000 copies at Westfield Stratford City earlier this month.

The exclusive London issue was the product of a partnership between the ELBA (The East London Business Alliance) and The Big Issue.

Ramish Sarfraz, a student from Norlington School who took part, said: “ELBA took me on a trip to Barclays where I learned about different elements of the business. It opened my eyes to the pathways that lead to different jobs and how I can think about my future career a bit differently. It was inspirational.

“I’m here to learn more customer service skills, retail skills and also it’s a great CV booster to do volunteer work.”

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Pupils distributed over 2,000 copies at Westfield Stratford City

According to the Office for National Statistics, 14,725 knife crimes – including 74 fatalities – were recorded in London in 2018.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has backed a public health approach to tackle the problem.

The ELBA, an outreach charity, works with businesses, grassroots organisations and young people to enable projects keeping vulnerable young people from getting caught up in knife crime.

The special Big Issue edition’s release marked 30th anniversary of the ELBA.

The money raised will go towards Norlington School and Sixth Form, beneficiaries of ELBA and Place2Be, a children’s mental health charity.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

The issue, a London exclusive, was aimed at tackling knife crime

Ian Parkes, chief executive officer, ELBA, said: “This partnership with The Big Issue showcases what has been done in recent years - but also highlights the distance yet to travel.

“For 30 years, ELBA businesses have been helping young people make the most of their talent. Our aim is to help every young person achieve the jobs and careers their qualifications, drive and ambition deserve. We hope more employers will join those that we work with and give every young person a brighter future.”

Oliver Waddington- Ball, head of partnerships at The Big Issue, added: “As the Mayor of London has outlined, lack of opportunity leaves young people vulnerable to negative forces in society.

“It was brilliant to work with their team so closely and raise awareness of the fantastic work that ELBA has done to ensure brighter futures for east London’s young people.”

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Money raised will go towards Norlington School and Sixth Form