Charities join forces to tackle youth violence

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A new initiative from the Prince Trust offers young people the advice they need to improve their lives.

12th August 2019 by Gavin Stuart 0 Comments

Charities and youth organisations have joined forces in a bid to tackle violence.

The Prince’s Trust Amplified initiative brings together groups working with young people to share activities and safe spaces, as well as offering insights and advice from those who have lived experience of violence. 

Scouts, UK Youth, Redthread and StreetDoctors are all working with the Trust to deliver the programme in 200 locations around the UK.

It comes as research showed 66% of young people in the UK said having positive role models would help to reduce violent crime among young people.

Almost half (45%), meanwhile, believe there are not enough alternative activities for young people.

Kate Still, director of The Prince’s Trust Scotland, said: “Scotland’s approach to knife crime in the last decade has resulted in a decrease in the number of young people impacted by violence, which is a major achievement.

“Our latest eBay Youth Index shows that currently young Scots are feeling safer in their communities. Nevertheless, we cannot ignore that there are still thousands of young people in areas across the whole of Scotland who are at real risk of violence.

“We can complement the fantastic work of the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit and that of others by promoting positive role models, creating safe spaces and allowing young people to talk to and feel inspired by those who understand and have lived through similar experiences.

“Having authentic voices and showing young people in isolated communities that there are different paths and that there is support available is vital. Together we have the commitment, scale and influence to make a real difference to young people in Scotland.”

Gerard Briton from Glasgow is one of the role models taking part in the programme.

After being stabbed in a street fight, Gerard began suffering from anxiety and realised he had to change his life around. He now works as a support worker with Quarriers and hopes his experiences can help other young people change their lives for the better.

He said: “If young people share our experiences and the things we’ve been through, we can have a powerful impact on other young people whose lives are at risk of taking a negative turn.

“Even if I change just one person’s life for the better it will be worth it, but I believe long lasting change will be made by giving young people role models who are relatable and who direct them to the services and support they need. This is what Amplified aims to do and I’m proud to be part of it.”

Will Linden, deputy director of the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit, is supporting the campaign.

He said: “In Scotland, we may have reduced the number of young people involved and victimised by violence but sadly it has not gone away and there are still too many feeling its devastating effects.

“All young people deserve the chance to grow up and be the best they can be, and it is our role to create the conditions in which that happens. Only by working together in partnership with young people we can make a real difference; bringing together the skills, the motivation and the desire for a positive change for all.”