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A network of youth workers will take to Birmingham’s streets during the six weeks holiday in an attempt to keep around 10,000 young people safe whilst the schools are shut.

In total more than 40 youth workers will offer support in places where violence traditionally rises during the summer months, including Aston, Yardley, Erdington, Kingstanding, Sparkbrook, Lozells and Newtown.

The move by the Violence Reduction Partnership (VRP) is designed to limit levels of violence over the 6-week break. The VRP was established in 2019 to tackle the causes of rising levels of violence in the region.

The youth workers will be attempting to spot potential violence or risk in busy areas before it escalates. They’ll have the option of steering the young people into organised and safe summer activities, offering them a safe space away from harm.

During term time the youth workers have been keeping young people safe on their journey to and from school. The aim is to ensure the trusted relationships that the young people have built up with the youth workers continues during the holiday season.

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster, said: “I’m delighted we are going to be continuing to offer essential support to our young people during the school holidays.

“Our team of youth workers have built up high levels of trust and understanding with students over the last six months or so. That’s why they are perfectly placed to continue to prevent violence, vulnerability and bullying on Birmingham’s streets in July and August.

“It’s no good waiting until violence happens. We must act fast and prevent it from occurring in the first place.” 

Cllr John Cotton, Cabinet member for Social Justice, Community Safety and Equalities at Birmingham City Council, said: “This initiative to keep young people safe from harm during the school holidays is a welcome addition to the work youth workers already do during term time.

“By steering them towards safe, organised activities – and offering a safe space away from harm – this will help young people develop new skills and build better relationships.”

One of the organisations that’s helped get the initiative off the ground is Street Games. Its’ area Director is Aaron Northmore, he said: “It is fantastic to see further support being provided to young people over the Summer holiday period.

“We hear from our network of community organisations the pressures that this period brings to communities, families and young people and this initiative will provide a vital touch point for young people.

“Through the provision of local sport across Birmingham and the West Midlands young people will benefit from a trusted person who understands them, their communities and their lifestyles.

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