Safer Stronger

£180,000 to help tackle underlying causes of violent crime in Manchester and Bolton

TWO alliances have been awarded £180,000 to help tackle serious violence in Manchester and Bolton.

The alliances are made up of voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations and will work with young people aged between 10 and 25 to develop projects and activities to address the underlying causes of violence and build aspirations and opportunities for young people.

Activity will include targeted sports and arts activity, interactive workshops and peer mentor sessions, and working with young people and their families to improve relationships.

In Manchester, the Peace Together alliance, led by The Hideaway with support from Odd Arts, 84Youth, Claremont Youth, Rio Ferdinand Foundation and Moss Side Fire Station Boxing, will work across Moss Side, Rusholme and Hulme.

In Bolton, SOS Protect brings together nine organisations including Raise the Youth Foundation, Streetgames, New Bury Youth, Bolton Wanderers Community Trust, Elite Boxing Community Hub, Wave Adventure, Great Lever and Farnworth Voice and Angel's Dance who will work with young people and families in New Bury.

The establishment of the two alliances follows extensive consultation with communities in Moss Side, Hulme and Rusholme in Manchester, and New Bury in Bolton, to understand the key issues and priorities in each area and work with local people to explore solutions.

Greater Manchester’s Violence Reduction Unit has worked with 10GM - a joint venture of local voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector infrastructure organisations in Greater Manchester - to drive forward this programme of work.

This is a key milestone in Greater Manchester’s £500,000 investment in community-led pilots, which are being rolled out in six boroughs as part of the Serious Violence Action Plan to tackle underlying causes of violence.

Deputy Mayor for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire Bev Hughes said: “Working together with communities to design jointly the solutions to problems in their area, including how money is spent and when and where interventions are delivered, is the flagship of Greater Manchester’s approach to tackling serious violence.

“By taking a community-led approach we can prevent serious violence while putting families and communities at the very heart of everything we do, ensuring Greater Manchester becomes safer and stronger for everyone and improve outcomes for young people.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how this work progresses and the real difference these two strong alliances will make in Manchester and Bolton, as we continue to extend this approach in other areas of Greater Manchester.”

Julie Wharton, Director of Hideaway, said: “Hideaway has been part of the Moss Side community for 56 years. We are proud to lead on the community-led initiative to bring together five partner organisations to deliver youth work, and activities to ensure that young people set their own learning agenda around the themes of personal development, citizenship, and good relations.”

Ian Hepplewhite, Head of Targeted Support, Raise the Youth, said: “We're really looking forward to working collaboratively in New Bury, a community we really care about. Families here face challenges but there are also many strengths and assets. The way this project is designed and the skills of those involved will provide a platform to build on this, mobilise people and make a positive difference.”

The police and other partners are also working alongside the alliances to tackle issues identified by local people.

In New Bury, near Farnworth, for example, residents raised concerns about a lack of police visibility. In response, a named neighbourhood officer has been put in place to increase engagement with local people and provide reassurance that action it being taken to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour.

Further community-led pilots are currently being developed in Oldham and Salford.

The Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) was launched in October 2019 and brings together Greater Manchester Police (GMP), Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), the National Probation Service as well as health, education and youth justice services and the VCSE sector to address the underlying causes of violent crime and to work together to prevent it.

10GM is a joint venture of local VCSE sector infrastructure organisations in Greater Manchester: Bolton CVS, Salford CVS, Macc and Action Together. These local organisations provide a range of organisational development support, accredited Volunteer Centres, locality and thematic networks and strategic representation across a range of partnerships. 10GM works strategically to strengthen support for the VCSE sector at borough level and ensure connectivity and engagement across the whole of GM. 10GM represents a combined membership of thousands of local VCSE organisations working in communities and neighbourhoods across the city region. 

For further information about the VRU follow @GM_VRU on Twitter.

Article Published: 12/03/2021 10:35 AM