Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit

The Social Switch Project is switching the narrative on how social media’s relationship to youth violence is understood, tackled and solved. Funded by the Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit, and supported by leading charities Redthread and Catch 22, the Social Switch Project delivers a multi-layered social media education programme.

The programme is designed to educate and empower a range of stakeholders – young people, parents and professionals – around how to navigate the pitfalls and make the most of the opportunities online, and tackles content far beyond social media, including: identity and belonging; relationships; wider risks and opportunities; and creating shared guidelines.

Linking into schools and the primary-secondary school transition, at the core of this training is peer-to-peer mentoring and coaching.

The programme of activities include delivery of social media training for:

The programme aims to:

  1. Upskill and empower frontline practitioners to understand how social media is changing the way children interact and how to help them to not only stay safe, but make the most of the opportunities
  2. To empower and heighten the awareness and understanding of 14-16 year olds to coach/ peer mentor other young people
  3. To help facilitate conversations between parents and young people around social media during transition, through giving parents the tools and confidence to talk about social media and the issues arising from it, as well as permit and open young people to the idea of sharing challenges they are facing online
  4. To give frontline practitioners the opportunity to build relationships in school as well as out in the community.

In 2021, a pilot of the Social Switch project was ran in four schools in Salford, read more about it here: Social Switch Project pilot in Salford results in 96% of practitioners feeling confident talking to young people about social media – Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit (, and watch the short video clip below.

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