Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit

COMMUNITY organisations in Bury met with the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, and Deputy Mayor Bev Hughes last week (Thursday 4 August), to discuss plans for the community-led programme in Bury.

The programme will focus on mentoring programmes providing positive role models for young people and families at risk or vulnerable to serious youth violence and criminal exploitation, youth work activities, school-based interventions to support those at risk of exclusion, and community sports-based interventions.

Organisations in Bury will form a partnership to deliver the programme.

Bury is the fifth borough in the city-region to receive funding from the VRU as part of its investment in community-led programmes, outlined in Greater Manchester’s Serious Violence Action Plan.

The community-led programmes enable the VRU to work closely with communities to understand the strengths, challenges, and needs of the community and determine how local investments will be made.

During the visit to Bury Defence Academy, Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester said: “It was fantastic to meet with organisations that will deliver the community-led programme of work in Bury over the next 12 months. The community-led programmes we have already rolled out in other boroughs of Greater Manchester have created a significant impact by providing opportunities for young people to engage in positive activities, have access to mentors and positive role models.

“We are pleased that GMP is taking a more proactive approach to reducing serious violence with increased arrests and stop and search, but we need more than just a policing response. Early intervention and prevention work is vital and that is where our innovative community-led approach to violence reduction comes in.

“The community-led approach to violence reduction strengthens relationships and trust between the community and partners from the voluntary and statutory sectors, improves how information is shared and is used to inform decision making, and creates opportunities for integrated working. I look forward to coming back and seeing the impact of the programme in Bury.”

Bev Hughes, Greater Manchester’s Deputy Mayor for policing, crime, criminal justice, and fire, said: “The strength of our approach to reducing violence relies heavily on multiple partners, we know that the knowledge of how to reduce violence in a community lies within the community, so it is vital that we work together. The community-led programme in Bury promises to provide new opportunities for young people who may have been affected by violence or at risk.

“I am looking forward to seeing the impact that the partnership will have on local young people.”

Councillor Richard Gold, Bury Council’s cabinet member for finance and communities, said: “Tackling anti-social behaviour and reducing violence are key elements of Bury’s Community Safety Plan. This aims to reduce serious violence by applying the principles of early intervention, prevention and partnership working which are at the heart of Bury’s community strategy Let’s do it!

We are incredibly proud of the energy and innovation of our community groups in taking this approach forward, through the VRU, to ensure that young people understand the consequences of violence and are supported to develop the skills and confidence to avoid it.”

Ifti Ahmed, Chairman of Bury Defence Academy said: “Forming a partnership with other local organisations who really understand the community will allow us to create even more positive outcomes for young people.

“A grassroots, bottom-up, collaborative approach is precisely what is needed to reduce the number of young people being drawn into violence.

“We look forward to working with our partners whilst utilising our organisational expertise in combat sports, youth work, and the lived experience of our team of volunteers, to help transform the lives of young people in East Bury and beyond.”

Greater Manchester’s VRU has worked with 10GM – a joint venture of VCSE sector infrastructure organisations in Greater Manchester – to drive forward this programme of work.

To find out more about the work of the Greater Manchester VRU visit Homepage – Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit ( or follow @gm_vru on Twitter and Instagram.

Article posted on: 08/08/2022 10:08am

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