Canary Wharf in Tower Hamlets, which is one of four London boroughs signed up to this partnership.

Violence reduction is Everyone's Business

27 April 2020

The VRU has awarded a £350,000 grant to the East London Business Alliance (ELBA), who successfully bid to deliver an innovative community-led programme aimed at reducing violence.

The Everyone’s Business programme responds to the specific need to support young people from disadvantaged or marginalised communities who have been – or are at risk of becoming – affected by violence.

The programme is built on the premise that giving hope, skills, and opportunities to young people, families, and communities is everyone’s business. ELBA is leading a response that enables the voluntary community sector and businesses to collectively contribute to violence reduction initiatives in east London.

The Everyone's Business community pilot will strengthen partnership-working between: 

•    ELBA, the lead organisation
•    Four key delivery partner organisations: Race Equality in Newham, Streets of Growth, Barking and Dagenham Giving, and Spark2Life
•    A network of voluntary community sector partners
•    Four local authorities: Newham, Barking & Dagenham, Waltham Forest, and Tower Hamlets
•    Young people

Research from City Hall has shown a link between poverty and violent crime. The borough of Tower Hamlets is home to Canary Wharf, one of the world’s most distinctive financial districts. In spite of this, according to the Trust for London, Tower Hamlets’ child poverty rate is the highest of all London boroughs with 57% of children living in poverty. 

ELBA works with businesses to take practical action to address social mobility and reduce poverty. Over the last 30 years, they have helped young people in schools, colleges and universities to raise their aspirations, widen their horizons, and build their employability skills. 

Everyone’s Business aims to help young people access the employment and entrepreneurial support programmes, and to access the social business networks that could help improve their prospects. This is in line with ELBA’s track record of creating new pathways for disadvantaged young people to get into good jobs and careers.

Backed by a strong array of experienced and committed partners, the Everyone’s Business programme will support 18 to 25-year-olds to become local ambassadors by providing them with mentoring and therapeutic support, as well as role models. Complementing this, there will be a programme of cultural activities and community events that will provide young people with more opportunity to develop a sense of identity, raise aspirations, celebrate diversity, and participate in community forums. The project is committed to employing culturally-competent staff to engage young people through a range of mediums, and ensure their needs and motivation can be properly understood and responded to.

Crucial to the sustainable success of this initiative is the strength of the partnerships created between business, the voluntary community sector, and young people. To achieve this, key partners will be supporting innovation, capacity building, networking and the dissemination of good practice among grassroots organisations.

ELBA’s CEO Ian Parkes said: 

“We are working with businesses to widen the diversity of their workforce, particularly when recruiting graduates and apprentices. Business members are also working with ELBA to support people in low paid employment to get into better paid positions, through improving their communication and employability skills and supporting apprenticeships.” 

He added:

“These are just some of the ways in which over 70 businesses each year are taking action to reduce inequalities and alleviate poverty in east London and beyond.”

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