London’s Violence Reduction Unit funds community groups
- Mayor announces £1.4m for early intervention projects
- Schemes include mentoring and community diversionary activities for young Londoners
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today announced that London’s Violence Reduction Unit will be investing £1.4 million in local community groups that specialise in early intervention to tackle knife crime.
The Violence Reduction Unit (VRU), which was set up by the Mayor, will provide funding for about 40 community projects that deliver interventions and provide support and diversionary activities for nearly 25,000 young Londoners in high-crime areas.
The projects, which will be the first to be funded by the VRU, will provide mentoring, counselling, school-based education schemes and community diversionary activities over the course of the next year for young people aged 10-21.
The projects will be funded by the VRU, whose public health approach is focused on building the capacity of local organisations that work with young people to prevent and reduce violent crime within their communities. The VRU will carry out project reviews over the next 12 months to understand what works best and to make further decisions on where similar projects would be effective in making early interventions.
The new investment comes as London’s VRU secured £7m funding from the Home Office for a series of programmes and initiatives to tackle all forms of violence in the capital.
Areas that the VRU will focus its attention on in the coming months include:
- Expanding after-school provision in high-crime areas - following data showing that violent incidents involving young people aged 10-16 are more likely to happen at the end of the school day.
- Supporting the transition from primary to secondary school.
- Creating a programme to reduce school exclusions by piloting a programme of inclusion and nurturing as developed in Glasgow where exclusions were reduced by 81 per cent over the last decade.
- Extra support for young people affected by domestic violence.
- Investing in London’s youth workers by developing a programme of training and development to support and grow their profession.
- Working with young people on establishing a Young Persons’ Action Group to feed into decision-making by the VRU
- Piloting programmes in prisons and young offender institutions.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I am determined to do everything I can to tackle violent crime in our city and that means being tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime.
“While I am investing and supporting our hardworking police officers who are targeting violent offenders and removing knives and dangerous weapons from our streets, we know the best time to stop violent crime is before it starts. That’s why it’s vital we invest in our communities because they are in the best position to intervene at a critical moment in a young person’s life and the VRU’s funding can help provide positive opportunities and role models.”
Lib Peck, Director of London’s Violence Reduction Unit, said: “I am really pleased that we are going to be investing in a number of projects that we know are delivering for young people and are demonstrating the public health approach in action. What we have learnt so far is that empowering communities and giving local people the powers and resources is key to making fundamental change in a young person’s life. They will help us make the types of long-lasting interventions that will enable us to challenge the view that violence is inevitable and demonstrate that it is preventable.”
Notes to editors
The fund will be managed by the London Community Foundation, which specialises in raising and investing funds in grassroots organisations.
Groups receiving funding are likely to include:
- Academy Achievers
- Ambition, Aspire, Achieve
- Anti-Tribalism Movement
- Basic Sports & Fitness (BSF)
- Cassandra Learning Centre
- Chaos Theory
- Communities Against Violence - Haringey (CAVH)
- Croydon BME Forum
- Damilola Taylor Trust
- Fight for Change Foundation
- GOAL (Gospel Oak Action Link)
- Godwin Lawson Foundation
- Good Shepherd Voluntary Organisation
- Making Communities Work & Grow
- Mancunian Way
- ML Community Enterprise
- ML Community Enterprise
- Ocean Youth Connexions
- Raw Material Music And Media Education
- Real Impact Social Empowerment Projects - RISE Projects
- Rising Stars Support
- SAAFI (Somali Advice and Forum of Information)
- Somali Relief and Islamic cultural centre
- South London Counselling & Support Services
- Southside Young Leaders’ Academy
- Streets of Growth
- The 4Front Project Ltd
- The Crib
- The Flavasum Trust
- The Greenleaf Trust Ltd
- The Crib
- The St Matthew's Project
- The VIP - Violence Intervention Project
- Trinity African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
- Unique Talent CIC
- Urban Community Projects
- WISE Youth Trust
- You and Me counselling
Some of the projects receiving funding previously received investment from the one-year Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime Community Seed Fund programme, which ended last month.