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Tackling serious youth violence

Black Roses Support, is an organisation aimed at helping young people and their families who are involved, either directly or indirectly, with serious youth violence (including those impacted by child sexual exploitation, modern day slavery, gangs etc) and those who would be classed as NEET – Not Engaged in Education, Employment or Training. 

I am a qualified Social Worker with experience in the local authority, working with young people who face challenges such as those above. Myself and my team have worked in schools as well as in the local community and after years of working with the young people of Slough, specifically with this targeted group of young people at risk of serious youth violence, I know work like this is essential to supporting young people away from lives of violence. 

With the grant from the Innovation fund, our project can focus its work around supporting young people in the transition to secondary education in both their physical and mental wellbeing. Participants will receive the wraparound care of the project as we’ll support them, not only to be physically active, but also to think about skills they want to develop.  

A public health approach to the issue of serious youth violence is one which is key to supporting these young people, rather than vilifying them. Research has shown that young people with adverse childhood experiences are more likely to develop issues around anxiety, depression and poor anger management, which can in turn contribute to that young person being vulnerable to joining a gang or becoming violent themselves.  

We aim to provided physical activities such as boxing and football training, paired with holistic support in the shape of mentoring and skills pathways - such as barbering training, DJ training and sound engineering sessions . 

Through the mentoring, which underpins the whole project, the young people are helped in learning how to manage and express their emotions and feelings in a positive and productive way. The project aims to offer a safe environment for these young people to work on themselves, building their self-esteem, confidence and skills. 

The project will primarily target young people living in Slough in the last years of primary education, at risk of serious youth violence, building a rapport with such young people will allow our team to support them in reaching their full potential and we are fortunate to have the experience of dedicated volunteers who have been in their position to support us.

This project looks to break the cycle and contribute towards the improvement and de-escalation of young people’s deteriorating mental health issues which could have the potential to turn into serious youth violence. 

We look forward to sharing the outcomes of our project with you.