09 November 2023
Celebrating the Rise Up programme’s impact on London’s youth practitioners
Last week marked a celebration and farewell to the three-year-funded Rise Up programme. Since its inception in 2020, this remarkable initiative, funded by the Mayor of London’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU), has supported a powerful transformation in the lives of 268 dedicated youth practitioners.
The challenges facing children and young people across London are as diverse as its neighbourhoods. The Rise Up programme focused on equipping youth workers representing 28 of London’s 32 boroughs with the essential tools and knowledge they need to empower and uplift children and young people affected by trauma and violence.
Led by the collaborative efforts of London Youth in partnership with Leap Confronting Conflict, Power the Fight, and Clore Social Leadership, this programme has successfully bolstered the skills, confidence and experience of 268 dedicated youth workers. It has provided:
- a safe haven for self-reflection;
- a sanctuary where youth workers could dissect and refine their own practices;
- a platform for networking and skill-sharing;
- a space where like-minded individuals could unite and learn from each other, collectively elevating the quality of youth work in London.
Beyond the core modules, the programme has also opened doors to further developmental training opportunities. Participants benefited from LEAP’s facilitator training, with some youth practitioners embarking on a JNC Level 3 course. To help take their development to the next level, small grants were made available to practitioners, enabling them to turn their newfound skills and expertise into tangible, impactful projects, and strengthen their skills in fundraising and project management.
Thanks to the Rise Up programme’s success, we’re ensuring that London’s youth workers stand poised to make an even more significant impact in the years to come.
Evidence sessions with the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee
London Youth was delighted to have our CEO Pauline Daniyan address the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee on a panel last week.
This was a dedicated session on the causes of youth violence in London, and a discussion on working with the Met Police and other partners around potential solutions.
It was also an exciting opportunity to champion our Rise Up youth practitioners during a second panel. As frontline youth workers, they were able to contribute their expertise and a wealth of lived experiences, unwavering passion, and commitment to young people’s wellbeing.
Main points outlined to the Committee
- Youth violence is often a demonstration of an unmet need, and harm begets harm.
- Policy makers need a contextualised understanding of young people.
- Complex causes of violence including poverty and lack of opportunity
- Children and young people have the right to play – this is enshrined in international law.
- We need to address the decline in opportunities that are giving rise to depression and frustration.
- Through play, children and young people are supported to regulate their emotions. This non-formal education is an essential part of a child’s life and development.
- Adults often misconstrue play as anti-social behaviour when they see young people in environments such as in parks. Groups of young people are often seen as a nuisance, and are the focus of misplaced fear.
- Youth workers are often dealing with intergenerational trauma from migration. Many young people have fled war to safety in the UK. In reality, they are more vulnerable and susceptible to exploitation, and need support to re-learn how UK systems work and how they can contribute to society.
- The rhetoric around refugees can be dehumanising and damaging. Youth workers hold space for these young people, helping them feel part of a community. But it takes time to build this trust and tackle the inequalities.
- Youth workers should be consulted when there are problems that arise at school with young people that they know in their communities. Ideally this should be integral to closer working between youth practitioners in active, preventative collaboration with schools to help avert crises.
We hope to keep the dialogue going with our Rise Up alumni, and ensure they retain a policy-shaping role within London Youth.