25 March 2022
London Youth warmly welcomes today’s announcement from London’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) regarding further investment in youth work.
A group of almost 90 youth workers from across London are being trained to develop mentoring skills and better support young people affected by trauma and violence, following £1.1m funding from London’s VRU.
The Rise Up programme, funded by London’s VRU and delivered by London Youth in partnership with Leap Confronting Conflict, Power the Fight and Clore Social Leadership, builds on youth workers’ skills, confidence and experience in order to better support vulnerable young people in the capital. Through specialist training, youth workers are boosting skills in addressing conflict and violence, and developing leadership skills so they can be even more effective in supporting young people.
The programme has already trained and helped develop 84 youth workers, the majority of which said that training helped better to equip them in dealing with conflict which meant they were able to build stronger relationships with young people, feel more effective in their roles and more confident of stepping up to senior positions. You can see a summary of the programme here
As an organisation London Youth is here to champion some of the life-changing contributions that our members play in supporting vulnerable young Londoners, alongside our London partners. Youth workers play a vital role in a young person’s life and whilst those on the frontline bring significant lived experience, passion and commitment – which was clearly demonstrated during the pandemic – the work they do is not always sufficiently recognised or valued.
Today’s announcement sits within the wider Mayor of London’s New Deal for Young People framework, and the commitment to provide access to quality youth activities and services. This includes a pledge to deliver a mentor for every young person in need of support by 2024.
Alongside Rise Up – a programme developed in direct response to listening to what youth practitioners wanted – London’s VRU has taken further steps to embed youth work in its approach to reducing violence and supporting young people, families and communities.
A group of 10 frontline youth workers have now been recruited to bring a unique practitioners’ perspective to the work of the VRU. The group of youth workers will help provide frontline expertise and learning, further maintain and develop relationships across the sector and both inform and influence how decisions are made to ensure the voice of youth workers is key to the VRU’s approach to tackling violence and supporting young people.
Rosemary Watt-Wyness our London Youth’s CEO said:
We are hugely excited to deliver the Rise Up Leadership Programme for Youth Practitioners again this year, in partnership with Leap Confronting Conflict, Power the Fight and Clore Social Leadership.
This is a really important programme and a brilliant partnership: the feedback from youth practitioners in the first year has been compelling and shows the programme’s positive impact on their confidence to apply for and step up into leadership roles.
Building on the learning from last year, Rise Up will deliver extensive training, coaching and mentoring throughout the year, all designed to enhance the skills, knowledge and networks of youth practitioners working with young people at risk of violence in London.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:
The safety of Londoners is my top priority and I’m committed to doing everything I can to put young people at the heart of London’s recovery.
For too long, the hard work and support youth workers have provided to young people in our city has been undervalued. They’ve been hit hard by a decade of national cuts but have continued to mentor young people, steering them in the right direction and broadening their horizons.
I’m committed to providing a mentor for every young person in need of support by 2024 and boosting the capacity of vital youth services, which so often are a lifeline for young people in our city, so we can build a better London for everyone.
Lib Peck, Director of London’s VRU, said:
We believe violence is preventable and not inevitable.
London’s VRU is invested in providing support and positive opportunities for young people and critical to that approach is the invaluable role played by frontline youth practitioners.
The Rise Up programme is evidence of our commitment to invest in and develop our youth workers who demonstrated once again during the pandemic that their support for a young person can be life-changing.
I’m delighted that we have also been able to recruit a group of highly skilled and experienced youth practitioners to advise the VRU and to ensure we do everything we can to safeguard and boost access to good quality youth services in London.