Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit

After liaison with Greater Manchester’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU), a StreetDoctors Reducing Violence Programme was commissioned for 10 participants based in HMP Hindley. StreetDoctors is a national charity aiming to educate young people in emergency first aid and empower them to be part of the solution to violence.

The programme focused on youth engagement, training and social action and was developed in collaboration with HMP Hindley – the group safety lead at the Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire Prison Group – and the proposed group of young participants.

The programme offered participants the opportunity to attain a nationally recognised HSC First Aid at Work qualification, delivered by the British Red Cross and carried out in multiple sessions over three weeks. The sessions included first aid training on bleeding and being knocked out, as well as a mental health and emotional wellbeing session. These more practical first aid sessions ran alongside workshops on communication skills, peer education and facilitation training. All the participants reported lived experience in relation to street violence.

Throughout the programme, the participants highlighted the significance of gaining new qualifications, and their desire to use this knowledge to help others. They spoke of the importance of positive role models and praised the programme for giving them a ‘fun’ learning experience where they were treated as equals. They also offered suggestions as to how the experience could be tailored to best engage with other young adults.

The results of the initiative were positive:

The StreetDoctors project at HMP Hindley is a project based on the VRU’s Greater than Violence Strategy, which champions the importance of education and a supportive social system when working with those affected by violence. By offering initiatives that increase mental wellbeing via engaging and practical education sessions, the VRU hopes to prevent potential perpetrators from committing violence and intervene in cases when violence has happened in the past. This approach is in line with our wider GM strategy to reduce violence across the city-region over a period of ten years.

For more information about the initiative in HMP Hindley contact Niamh Mitchell or Dave Gilbride at the VRU.

To find out more about StreetDoctors go to

Article posted on: 19/02/2024 10:02am

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