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30 October 2020

Children & Young People Now has profiled our exciting new Rise Up Youth Practitioners Leadership Programme, a partnership with Clore Social Leadership and Leap Confronting Conflict supported by the Mayor of London’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU).

Rise Up will strengthen London’s youth sector by investing directly in youth sector leaders and support good youth work through frontline youth practitioners working with young people vulnerable to violence.

A group of frontline youth workers supporting young people in London at risk of, or affected by, violence have embarked on a leadership programme that aims to broaden their skills to deliver and lead services.

The group, the first of three cohorts of “high-potential” youth workers to undertake the one-year youth practitioners leadership programme, started in September. They have been selected from the network of 600 community youth organisations that are members of umbrella body London Youth because they have shown leadership potential and influenced their communities (see below).

Called Rise Up, the programme has been developed by London Youth and charity Leap Confronting Conflict along with specialist training company Clore Social Leadership, and is funded by the Mayor of London’s Violence Reduction Unit. It has been designed to recognise the broad skills needed to deliver and lead youth services for young people affected by violence, as victim or perpetrator, or at risk from it.

The practitioners will undergo 26 days of training over the year that fits around their work commitments. Core modules include trauma-informed practice, change management, mental health first aid, contextual and transitional safeguarding and business planning. Other training sessions in specialist and general practice and personal development will also be available.

Sessions have been designed by training lead organisation Leap, which has extensive experience of working within custody and community settings and the impact that trauma and societal factors such as institutional racism can have on young people’s behaviour.

The organisers say the rationale behind the sessions is to demonstrate to practitioners the impact that experiencing trauma has on young people so they can “identify behaviours and respond with an open mind and compassion”.

Participants will have access to mentoring and coaching with established voluntary youth sector leaders from across the London Youth network and, on completion of the programme, will have access to an Innovation Fund to implement change in their community to benefit young people experiencing violence.

Shaks Ghosh, chief executive of Clore Social Leadership, said: “Our youth workers deploy their leadership with compassion and passion every day in some of the most challenging contexts, especially when working to reduce violence. Often these youth workers do not recognise what they do on a daily basis as leadership. Those with untapped potential who, given the chance to further develop their skills, hone their behaviours and build a community of other dedicated youth workers, will continue to create the safe spaces that young people need to thrive.”

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