Today (Monday 19th June), the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester visited the Violence Reduction Unit’s community-led programme in Salford to hear about the positive impact it is having in preventing young people becoming involved in serious violence and other crimes.
In the 18 months since launch, over 400 young people have been supported through the community-led programme, which focuses on reducing antisocial behaviour, violence and hate crime, improving community cohesion, and providing opportunities for young people.
A community-led approach to violence reduction, means the VRU works closely with communities to understand the strengths, challenges, and needs of the community and determine how local investments will be made. Several boroughs across the city-region have received funding from the Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) as part of its £1.6 million investment in community-led programmes, outlined in Greater Manchester’s Serious Violence Action Plan.
In November 2021, several place-based organisations in Salford were awarded funding from VRU and formed a partnership. Some organisations focused on providing mentoring programmes and positive role models for young people and families at risk or vulnerable to serious youth violence and criminal exploitation. As a result, sixty-four young people aged 10-18 who were identified as at risk of serious youth violence, have been given a one-to-one mentor and positive role model.
Over 90% of the young people reported improved personal health and wellbeing, minimising risk-taking behaviours, and increased awareness of emotional regulation strategies and anger management techniques, after four months of engagement.
Other organisations focused on increasing the number of youth work activities for young people, projects that build a sense of pride, respect and belonging in the local community, and activities to engage young people on the periphery of organised crime and serious youth violence. This includes Manchester United Foundation’s Street Reds programme in Ordsall, which delivers regular weekly sessions targeting 8-18-year-olds with sports activities and development opportunities, Oasis Hub Media City’s weekly Friday night youth club which offers arts, cooking, gaming, and issue-based workshops and Salford Community Leisure’s swimming sessions and open access sports offer.
A new community film which showcases an inspirational young person from Salford was also premiered. You can watch the film here: Salford Community Spotlight: Taylor’s Story – YouTube
During the visit, Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “We’re committed to doing all we can to stop violence and crime on our streets across Greater Manchester. Just as important as catching those responsible for committing these crimes and getting them off our streets, is working with communities to tackle the issues and to prevent young people from falling into these behaviours.
“We know that working with communities to develop local programmes and initiatives yields the best results, and I would like to thank the organisations and people who have made the programme a success so far.
“I look forward to seeing the continued positive impact of the programme on young people and families in Salford. Programmes like this allow us to educate and support young people away from serious violence and crime and the result is a safer, happier, and more cohesive community for all.”
Kate Green, Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “The young people I met today have received fantastic support to help them feel safe and been included in programmes that prevent and reduce their risk-taking and offending behaviours.
“The strength of our approach to reducing violence relies heavily on multiple partners, and opportunities like today to bring partners, community members and young people together highlight what can be achieved by working together.
“This approach allows us to reduce violence and criminality in our communities and offers a better future for those at risk. In turn, the wider community benefits as a whole in the long-term.”
Councillor Barbara Bentham, Lead Member for Environment, Neighbourhoods, Sports and Leisure, Salford Council, said: “Most young people in Salford are not involved in crime, but for those who are at risk offering them positive support in this way brings out their strengths, helps them develop new interests, confidence, self-management and skills. It’s an investment in their future.”
Taylor Active Communities Worker at Salford Community Leisure and star of the Salford community film, said: “I am really pleased to be part of a film that showcases the positive opportunities that exist in Salford for young people.
“I have had an amazing experience, both as an attendee, and now as a worker at Salford Community Leisure, and I am really keen that other local people get to experience the same things I have been able to.
“I am proud of the work I have done and look forward to being able to share with others.”
Salford Foundation, Manchester United Foundation, Salford Community Leisure, Oasis Hub, Swinton Lions, OddArts, Stay Safe, Europia and Warm Hut, form the Salford partnership.
The VRU’s community-led programmes are delivered with the support of 10GM – a joint venture to support the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector in Greater Manchester.
To find out more about the work of the VRU’s community-led approach to violence reduction, visit Community-Led Approach to Violence Reduction – Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit (gmvru.co.uk) and follow @gm_vru on Twitter and Instagram.
Article posted on: 19/06/2023 04:06pm