The Greater than Violence strategy commits to working together with individuals and communities to understand their strengths, challenges, and ideas to tackle violence.
Led by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester, the Greater than Violence Strategy will work to improve lives by preventing violence, supporting victims, families and communities affected, and providing positive opportunities to those at risk of becoming victims, witnesses, or perpetrators, including education programmes, community sports, targeted mentoring, opportunities to develop new skills and therapeutic support.
The strategy is founded on two pillars: preventing violence from happening and responding swiftly and appropriately when it occurs.
There are 5 key principles that underpin the strategy, informed by input from our communities, young people and partners:
The VRU has partnered with Manchester Metropolitan University’s Manchester Centre for Youth Studies (MCYS) to ensure the voices of young people from across Greater Manchester are captured in the strategy. MCYS is an award-winning interdisciplinary research centre specialising in participatory, youth-informed research that positively influences the lives of young people. To date, through MCYS, 70 young people have shared their experiences and thoughts on the causes of violence, where violence happens, what makes them feel safe/unsafe and what would help to address violence through a series of detailed conversations and facilitated workshops. This insight has helped to shape the principles and commitments included in the strategy – engagement will continue as implementation plans are developed.
Young people from the Youth Combined Authority (YCA) have also helped to shape the direction and development of the strategy. The YCA is a group of young people who have the role of advising on and scrutinising the work of the Mayor and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority on key issues and concerns of young people in the community, and represent all 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester. Their input has ensured that the strategy includes commitments that will address the concerns of young people in terms of violence and positive opportunities for the future.
Through the VRU’s community-led programmes, young people and community members from across Greater Manchester have shared their experiences of violence and ideas for change with the Mayor and Deputy Mayor, including the importance of long-term funding for community-led initiatives. This was also reflected in ‘The Big Conversation’, an event co-chaired by the VRU and 10GM to seek the views of 90+ people from voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations from the 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester. The event provided an opportunity to receive feedback on the strategy’s emerging principles and ensure that the views of the VCSE sector, a crucial partner in preventing violence, are reflected in the strategy.