Reducing violence against young people
Despite the headlines, young Black, Asian and people of Mixed Heritage are more likely to be victims of crime than they are to commit crime.
Action for Race Equality is working in partnership with Rocket Science to bring an evidence-led understanding of serious youth violence, both in London and across the UK. This work is supported by the Mayor of London’s Violence Reduction Unit.
ARE recognises that minority-led community organisations, in particular, face significant capacity issues. Funding opportunities need to be tailored to ensure their reach and inclusivity, recognising and tackling funding “cold spots”, as well as the importance of investing in specialist, black-led infrastructure and support to sustain and enable front-line organisations to focus on what’s important – delivering.
violence is preventable, not inevitable.”Lib Peck, Director of the Violence Reduction Unit
We will use the latest evidence and data, to shape a community-based programme which responds to current trends. These include: high levels of repeat offending; that males make up 75% of serious youth violence (SYV) victims and 77% of offenders; differing types of serious youth violence; focusing on key times for preventative intervention (ie 3-10pm and at the end of the week) and in particular locations where incidences of SYV are disproportionately high eg Westminster, Haringey, Lambeth and Southwark.
Stronger Futures will include work that draws on our experience of capacity building to addresses barriers that community organisations commonly face in accessing funds to support their work by:
- Reaching into communities to identify innovative community-based provision, using ARE’s networks and social media to encourage applications from beyond the “usual suspects” and which genuinely reflect the community.
- Enabling groups to design preventative, early intervention and diversionary activities which are gender-focused, targeting those with multiple risk factors, as well as specific support for those already in contact with the youth/criminal justice system.
- Inviting partnership bids, encouraging place-based anchor organisations to coordinate.
- Facilitating a consortia of local community providers.
The Programme is supported by The Mayor of London’s Violence Reduction Fund which is investing £3.1 million into community groups by 2025. ARE is delivering this programme with Rocket Science, a consultancy providing policy, research and grants management across the UK.
This funding is designed specifically for groups and organisations in London which can demonstrate a track record of working with vulnerable young people who are either at risk or have been involved in violence.
The Stronger Futures Programme, launched in 2021, will enable community-led groups to support vulnerable young Londoners by providing them with opportunities and support in the hours following school, as well as at weekends, in some cases.*
Phase I invested £1.3m in 18 projects across London. Grants of between £50,000 and £100,000 have been awarded to support 5,000 young people between 2021 and 2023.
Phase II is investing a further £3.4 million to more than treble the number of young people supported with opportunities after school and at weekends between 2023-2025.
23 grassroots community organisations have now been awarded funding to deliver activities for 17,000 children and young people aged 8-18 who are either at risk or affected by violence.
*Evidence shows young people at greater risk of exploitation and violence between 3pm and 10pm on school days and weekend evenings.
What we’re doing
ARE is overseeing delivery of several projects as part of Stronger Futures.
We will be leading on the capacity building element of the programme.
Each successful organisation will be allocated 3 days of free capacity building support and access to a range of thematic workshops, including financial and business planning, measuring impact, relationship management and more.
Round 2 launched in June 2023. Applications are now closed for this programme and funds have been awarded.
From the first phase, the VRU noted:
- Nearly 1,900 young people from 14 organisations reported improved positive peer relationships
- More than 1,500 young people with improved mental health and wellbeing
- Nearly 400 young people with improved employment prospects
The strength of Stronger Futures lies in the co-producing of plans with the organisations. We are delighted to be offering a tailored programme to support organisations develop the areas where they want to be, and to harness the strengths and good practice that already exists within their activities carrying out such vital functions for young Londoners”Tebussum Rashid, Deputy Executive ARE
Photo credit: © Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk