How do you teach schoolchildren about extremely important but difficult subjects such as human trafficking and radicalisation? Just Enough UK is a charity that does so through workshops that challenge, engage and make children laugh. Children are encouraged to get involved in drama and texts are referenced that they can relate to, such as Oliver Twist. We asked Just Enough UK’s founder Phil Knight to tell us more about how the charity came to be.
Hello from the website of the Children’s Commissioner! We are Just Enough UK, an education charity that goes in to schools across the UK talking to children about difficult subjects such as Modern Day Slavery and Radicalisation. We found that we could take these topics and turn them into interactive, educational and fun workshops that children can digest and understand. We have now educated over 16,000 children in the UK since 2013 with a 98% success rate.
This all came about from events in the last few years when I personally found out about the world of Human Trafficking. It had such a profound effect on me that I did a couple of stunts to raise the public’s awareness. In 2009 I sat at a drum kit in Leicester Square and drummed for four and a half days non-stop to 1,800 songs to raise money for a charity supporting victims of modern day slavery. In 2011, I wanted to raise more awareness so lived in a small shipping container for two weeks solid outside Euston Station with only a sleeping bag, dried cereal, water, a chemical toilet, a sharpie pen, a bouncy ball and a small battery powered light. It was a tough event but of course nothing like a true victim of slavery experiences.
Just Enough UK was created from children in the local area asking their teachers to meet the man from the box. This went from school to school and I realised if I could make the children laugh, I could make them listen. They would then tell their parents and guardians about what they had learned; this then raised general public awareness. Children even come forward that know information regarding possible slavery cases they have seen. We then forward all of that over to the relevant police force in the area following all child protection guidelines.
The radicalisation workshop came about from schools actually asking us to talk to their children after the Paris attacks as they were feeling scared, nervous about going to school or even leaving the house. We applied our fun, happy philosophy to the subject and now are in demand in schools to back up the Prevent Radicalisation work teachers now have to address.
We set up Just Enough from children’s demand and we will always listen to them to help them make sense of the world.
‘Just Enough UK has been coming to St Mary’s for the last four years. The children love Phil’s energy and enthusiasm, and the way he uses humour and drama activities to engage them on challenging subjects. He draws on texts that children can relate to, such as Oliver Twist, and provides follow up materials to help embed learning. We have used the charity three times so far, and have them booked to come in again in April.’
Samantha Copus, Deputy Head at St Mary’s CofE, Pulborough, West Sussex
If you want to find out more about us please head to www.justenoughuk.org