Youth workers steered more than 10,000 young people in Birmingham away from harm, potential violence and anti-social behaviour during the summer holidays.
The team, funded by the Violence Reduction Partnership and Birmingham City Council, worked around the clock for 45 days to ensure young people were kept safe and out of trouble.
Violence traditionally spikes during this time, but this year, in areas where youth workers were deployed, it was kept to a minimum.
The network of youth workers were positioned on routes in Aston, Yardley, Erdington, Kingstanding, Sparkbrook, Lozells and Newtown.
The Step Together programme usually operates during school term time and sees youth workers positioned along busy routes to and from school in order to keep young people safe and to reduce levels of violence. However, the Violence Reduction Partnership (VRP) has been so impressed by the programme that it extended it into the school holidays so young people could continue to receive advice, guidance and access positive activities even when the schools were shut.
The VRP was established in 2019 to tackle the causes of rising levels of violence in the region.
The youth workers are asked to spot potential violence before it escalates, identify vulnerable young people and signpost them towards safe summer activities. Hundreds were signed up to summer activities including basketball, football and athletics where they were looked after and many were provided with a nutritious meal.
As young people develop trusted relationships with the teams of youth workers they are also increasingly confiding in them about potential local issues that could occur before it is too late.
The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster, said: “I’m pleased that the Violence Reduction Partnership has continued to play an important role in preventing and tackling violence during the summer holidays.
“The school break is traditionally a time when violence and anti-social behaviour can flare up, but this year, in the places where the youth workers were located, the incidence of violence was kept at much lower levels.
“It’s this kind of work that is so important, if we are to prevent and reduce violence, protect young people, save lives and provide young people with the opportunity to fulfil their potential.”
Meanwhile, Cllr John Cotton, Cabinet member for Social Justice, Community Safety and Equalities at Birmingham City Council, said: “I’m pleased to say this initiative to keep young people safe and out of harm’s way during the school holidays has been very successful.
“By steering them towards safe, organised activities we have reduced the threat of violence, but also helped them develop new skills and build better relationships.”Back to News Archive