Anjela Lauren Smith
Anjela Lauren Smith was born in London and in her early career she toured as a backing dancer for a jazz-funk band, as well as appearing in over 30 music videos alongside artists such David Guetta, Paul Weller, Soul II Soul, The Pet Shop Boys and Barry White.
She now works as an actress and writer and is known for her performances in Revolver, Babymother, G.M.T Greenwich Mean Time, SUS and more recently for her role as Dinah Wilson in the popular BBC drama, Eastenders.
“When I was a child, Brixton was a safer place for kids to hang out in the park; the area has seen many changes since then and I know the challenges faced by some young people are vastly different to those of my teenage years in the 1990s. The ability to grow comes from the options that are available to you in your life. Such as being given a chance, or a second chance or even a third and fourth chance. No one should feel like an outsider or be blocked from reaching their full potential, I believe with programmes such as this the door is opened even wider.”
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Young adult offenders often relate to those who have ‘walked in their shoes’, those who have the lived experience of the criminal justice system. The AP Foundation believe that the ex-offender community has an important role to play in resettlement and rehabilitation.
Arts, culture and media programmes are also an effective way of engaging difficult to engage young adult people in productive activities connected with their leisure interests, developing their vocational and transferable employment skills, boosting their employability and reducing re-offending.