Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit

Over 20 girls from across Greater Manchester joined professionals and volunteers in an event designed to build relationships and trust with services.

Held at Moss Side Leisure Centre, girls were invited to join a netball session with England Netball alongside female professionals – police, youth workers, doctors, nurses, paramedics, and lawyers. Girls had the opportunity to take part in drills and skills sessions and chat informally with professionals.

After lunch, girls joined two sessions, led by StreetDoctors and Tough Cookies.

StreetDoctors is a national charity that puts young people at the centre of emergency first-aid provision and empowers them to become part of the solution to violence. The session covered basic first aid and how to stop bleeding. Girls were taught what to do in an emergency, including how to apply pressure to a wound.

Find out more about their work: StreetDoctors – Empowering young lifesavers.

Tough Cookies is a Greater Manchester based organisation that believes in providing young people with reliable, open, and honest relationship advice, information, and education, with the objective of supporting teens to live happy and healthy lives. The session focused on healthy relationships and self-esteem.

Find out more about their work: tough cookies – your guide to growing up.

Girls also attended a Q&A panel session with professionals and volunteers which provided an opportunity to ask questions about job roles and career paths. Volunteers from 1 Message, a community interest company that offers 1-1 mentoring services for young people at risk of violence, and StreetGames, an organisation that uses the power of sport to transform lives and broaden ambitions, also joined the panel. The girls commented that it was a great to hear how there were so many opportunities for them in the future and that it was great to meet professionals not in their uniforms and see that they were ‘just like them’.

Abbey Barry, Greater Manchester Netball Development Officer, England Netball, said: “UniteHER was an all-round empowering day. It aimed to educate young females on a range of topics with the overall theme of reducing violence. The sessions delivered by both Street Doctors and Tough Cookies, were tailored to the specific age group and the attendees were able to have open and honest conversations in a safe environment. Netball provided the opportunity for exercise and allowed for a relationship to be built between the professionals and young people in attendance. We’ve had fantastic feedback from attendees, volunteers, and parents, and I cannot wait to see what UniteHER grows into.”

Discussion is underway on how to roll UniteHER out in other areas of Greater Manchester, hopefully with the potential for use nationwide.

Article posted on: 01/07/2022 11:07am

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