Youth workers have been helping to keep safe up to eighteen thousand young people as they make their way to and from school in the West Midlands.
That’s according to an Ipsos report, funded by the Youth Endowment fund, which assessed the delivery of the Violence Reduction Partnership’s ‘Step Together’ initiative.
The youth workers have been strategically placed along routes to and from school to keep pupils safe.
Since October 2021 the youth workers reported helping to resolve incidents involving violence, bullying, anti-social behaviour and even knife crime.
The Ipsos report looked at the initial 19 routes set up under the Step Together programme.
Step Together has expanded since it first began operating at Erdington Academy and now works in areas including Lozells, the Jewellery Quarter, Newtown, Sutton Coldfield and Sparkbrook in Birmingham, as well key locations in Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton.
The Home Office and the Youth Endowment Fund initially provided combined funding of £1.2 million, with delivery made possible thanks to a host of partners who worked successfully with the Violence Reduction Partnership to implement the programme. These included local schools, councils, police, businesses, parents and community members. All the partners shared one aim, which was to have more trusted adults in place to protect young people from potential violence.
The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster said: “This is great news for our region.
“The teams of youth workers are working really hard to keep our children and young people safe as they make their journey to and from school.
“Preventing and tackling youth violence is a top priority for me and projects like this are really good examples of new initiatives designed to do just that.”
The West Midlands Violence Reduction Partnership brings together representatives from local councils, education, health, youth, faith, community groups and the police, to understand and tackle the root causes of violence across our region.
It was launched in late 2019 to help organisations work together effectively to tackle the root causes of violence.