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21 May 2019

On Friday 17th May, our Tackling Youth Violence Network met for their latest meeting, kindly hosted by the Young Ealing Foundation at the Westside Young People’s Centre in Ealing. Thank you to all of our speakers and to Stu Thomson, one of our trustees and Head of Youth Services at Oasis Waterloo, who chaired the network.

The network, which has been running since 2012, is a unique forum in London that regularly brings together youth workers and other specialists involved in front-line youth violence programmes. It’s an opportunity for youth violence professionals to share best practice, to network and partner, and to connect with politicians and policymakers. The network is primarily aimed at London Youth members, but is open to any organisation or statutory service involved or interested in tackling youth violence in London.


Lynne Abrams, Head of the VRU

The London Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) was launched in 2018 by the Mayor of London to create a public health approach to reducing and tackling violence in London. Originally part of the Mayor’s Office for Policing & Crime (MOPAC), it is now a separate organisation funded by £6.8 million from the Mayor and led by Lib Peck, former leader of Lambeth Council. London Youth supports a public health approach in London and has worked with the VRU since its creation to connect it to the voice of our members.

The VRU has now developed a draft work programme, which it is seeking feedback on through the Tackling Youth Violence Network and other forums. The programme (see the slides above) has the following eight objectives:

  • Supporting individuals to be more resilient
  • Supporting stronger families
  • Young people leading change
  • Keeping schools safe, keeping young people in school and improving alternatives
  • Keeping young people safe in public areas and encourage greater activity during holidays
  • Enabling local communities to be strong, safe and resilient
  • Giving young people every chance to succeed
  • Changing the message around violence

Lynne welcomed feedback from youth professionals in the network and more widely on the following questions:

  • Does the draft work programme place enough emphasis on the right areas, does it give balance to both immediate and long term activity?
  • How can the VRU facilitate our commitments to co-design the work programme as we move to implementation?
  • What aspects of the work programme need to be prioritised in your opinion?
  • What aspects do you think this group/ the youth violence sector could be most involved in?
  • Would you be interested in a workshop on the action plan?

If you have any comments or questions, please contact the London VRU: community.engagement@london.gov.uk.


Sarah Wilkins, Senior Education & Youth Manager, Greater London Authority (GLA)

The second round of the Mayor of London’s Young Londoners Fund opened on 15th May and will be open until 12th July. The £15 million fund is open to all legally constituted organisations working with young Londoners between the ages of 10 and 21. We encourage all interested members to read the guidance in the slides above and to follow the links below for more information about the fund.


Anne-Mari Hall, Senior Knowledge & Learning Manager, National Lottery Community Fund

The National Lottery Community Fund, formerly the Big Lottery Fund, distribute £600 million to charities and communities every year. This included funding London Youth’s employability programmes, Talent Match London and Talent Match Croydon. Anne-Mari was kind enough to present on the report, Preventing Serious Youth Violence: What works?. The report looks at what effective violence programmes look like and makes a number of recommendations, which are summarised below.

Prevention:

  • Shift culture and spending towards early action to prevent and respond to adversity
  • Provide positive and universal options in education, care and youth settings
  • Build effective cooperation between statutory services and the voluntary and community sectors to identify and support at-risk young people early

Early Intervention:

  • Build young people’s skills and confidence
  • Recognise supportive and trusting relationships
  • Extend support into the community and build on what is already working well locally
  • Include specialist mental health support services in interventions
  • Use sport and arts to engage and promote positive values
  • Find ‘teachable moment’ to intervene and offer ways out of violence
  • Trust young people as experts in their own lives and use their expertise and experience to inform and improve the design, delivery and evaluation of services

Partnership based approaches:

  • Invest in generous leaders and create a shared vision
  • Build a whole system approach, where statutory services and voluntary and community organisations work together for a long-term response that addresses the root causes of violence

Get in touch

Watch out for more London Youth member networks, including the next Tackling Youth Violence Network meeting in August. If you have any questions, please contact Nicole Bristol-Robinson, Membership Development Officer.

Samuel Howell, Policy Officer