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Funding bid success for knife crime interventions in Southwark schools

17 December 2018

Southwark Youth Offending Service (YOS) has been successful in bidding for a grant from the Mayor’s Young Londoners Fund.

The YOS will receive £150,000 funding over three years which will allow officers to continue delivering the six- week long knife crime intervention workshops in Southwark schools as well as expanding into Lambeth for the first time.

In addition to this funding, Southwark has also received £441,737 funding from the Home Office via the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime for ‘Breaking Barriers Southwark’, a voluntary sector led programme. This grant is also supplemented by an additional £330,000 of match funding secured by voluntary community sector partners.

In total Southwark has been awarded £921,737 to deliver a number of youth focused schemes around the borough.

Hannah is one of the officers involved in delivering the school based programme, she says of the scheme : “Over the last couple of years we have been working on implementing a different intervention around knife crime which is more focused on picking up on how young people feel and their day to day lives. We operate in a trauma informed way with the hypothesis that a lot of young people are reacting to and operating from an experience of trauma.

“We try to use small groups to do those sessions where they can really have a chance to tell their story and to explore the specific issues for them. If possible we try to do it in friendship groups so that those discussions can carry on outside the sessions. It can be quite powerful for teenage boys to hear their friends talk about their feelings and have an open and honest discussion about the challenges for young people. We don’t have a problem with engagement in these sessions, I think they don’t have the opportunity to speak to adults about these things very often but they want to. There seems to be a narrative in society that young boys don’t want to talk and they don’t talk about feelings but given a safe enough space I think they do.”

Cllr Jasmine Ali, cabinet member for children, schools and adult care, said: “I am also incredibly proud that this Southwark developed intervention programme has received much needed funding from the Mayor’s Young Londoners fund. This is a scheme is delivered by skilled and dedicated officers and has really encouraged vulnerable young people to open up, talk about their emotions and recognise the adults that make up their support system. The key strength of this programme is its focus on prevention and giving young people a space to safely share their experiences. I am incredibly pleased that this important work is both able to carry on and expand.” 

Page last updated: 17 December 2018

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