Multiple Grammy-winning composer, producer arranger and guitarist, Nile Rodgers is the latest musician to actively support Key4Life, the UK charity that helps reduce youth offending and gang warfare through the delivery of an innovative rehabilitation programme.
As the co-founder of CHIC and the newly elected Chairman of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Rodgers pioneered a musical language that generated chart-topping hits like “Le Freak” and sparked the advent of hip-hop with “Good Times”. Nile Rodgers & CHIC will light up the stage in a special gala dinner performance for Key4Life on Monday 17th June at Gray’s Inn Marquee in London.
Speaking ahead of the event, the 66- year-old Chic co-founder said:
“I’m honoured to be supporting Key4Life, and their new YOUNITED Campaign, a call to action to businesses in the UK, to give ex-offenders a second chance by providing employment opportunities. It is critical that industry, together with government, support this initiative.”
He continued, “All young men coming out of prison, and looking for a way to redeem themselves within society, need self-respect. That comes from having a job that in turn provides them with an identity and sense of purpose. We must help break the circle of crime, and industry has a role to play in that by employing young people who have grown up in difficult circumstances – and usually disadvantaged. Unlocking jobs for them has to be the right direction for society in general and I am proud to be a part of this important project.” The event will mark the official launch of Key4Life’s new ground-breaking ‘YOUNITED’ Campaign: Unlocking Jobs – a flagship movement and a call to action to industry and businesses of all sizes in the UK to offer employment to young people with an offending background.
The Ministry of Justice has recently revealed re-offending costs society around £16 billion a year and costs £37,000 to keep someone locked up in prison for a year. Key4Life programmes, which cost £5,000 per person, are helping to bring the rate of re-offending down as only 14 percent of those involved in a programme go on to re-offend. Key4life participants have significantly lower re-offending (more than half) and are four times more likely to be employed a year after release.
Key4Life has already helped to change the lives of more than 300 young men, many of whom have been caught up in knife crime in the capital.
Eva Hamilton MBE, Founder and CEO of Key4Life said: “Launching YOUNITED is the next logical step if we are to really help disenfranchised men, by calling on businesses to offer them a chance of redemption and help them back in society. This new initiative will encourage and challenge the business community to play its part in reducing youth offending and help address the alarming rise of youth violence and crime in the UK.”