Council provides mentoring and positive activities for young people to tackle youth violence
Working with the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), Barking and Dagenham Council has commissioned five local community organisations to deliver positive activities to children and young people who are at risk of becoming involved in, or coerced into crime.
Arc Theatre, BoxUp Crime, Future MOLDS, LifeLine Projects and Studio3Arts are providing activities, including arts, boxing, drama, music, and mentoring to help steer young people away from a life of crime through positive interactions. The organisations can refer young people to one another to help provide the tailored support that each young person needs.
The council has also commissioned Spark2Life to deliver intensive mentoring and one to one support for young people who are involved in gang activities to support them to change their lifestyles. We have also applied for funding from the tri-borough integrated gangs unit to work with young women who are affected by gang and group violence.
In addition, Trauma Training has been delivered to 150 professionals across Barking and Dagenham and Redbridge to help staff to understand the impact of trauma on young people’s life choices and how this manifests in their behaviour.
The training will help staff within schools, the Police, Health services, the Fire Service and the council to better understand and deliver services that can support young people who are experiencing trauma.
MOPAC awarded Barking and Dagenham and Redbridge councils £500,000 to help tackle serious youth violence as part of a £4.1m programme secured from the Home Office’s Early Intervention Youth Fund.
Not every child is lucky enough to have family, friends or role models. We’re offering young people, who are most at risk of becoming involved in crime, positive activities and safe spaces to help them grow and develop.
Councillor Margaret Mullane, Cabinet Member for Enforcement and Community Safety, said: "Not every child is lucky enough to have family, friends or role models in their lives. The safety of our children and young people is our number one priority and we’re offering young people, who are most at risk of becoming involved in crime, positive activities and safe spaces to help them grow and develop.
“These projects are vitally important as they’re providing mentoring and positive activities for our young people who most need our support. The projects are helping these young people to get the support they need and will help to steer them away from crime and violence.
"We’re also working closely with our partners and sharing knowledge and skills to help to get to the root causes of issues rather than dealing with problems in later life."
Young people at risk of serious youth violence need positive role models to show them the choices they have and activities to give them an alternative to life on the road.
Nathan Singleton, Chief Executive Officer of Lifeline Projects, said: ‘“To stem the surge of serious youth violence we need a joint up approach with all relevant statutory and voluntary providers working in partnership to share intelligence and develop solutions. Young people at risk of serious youth violence need positive role models to show them the choices they have and activities to give them an alternative to life on the road.”
The projects are a continuation of work that began in January at London’s first tri-borough Serious Violence Summit, held in Dagenham, and form a key part of the approach to dealing with serious youth violence in the borough.