COMMUNITY organisations in Oldham shared the positive impact of a programme led by the Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) on young people and communities in Oldham during a visit from the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, yesterday (Wednesday 26th October).
In July 2022, four organisations in Oldham formed a partnership and were awarded funding from Greater Manchester’s VRU - Fatima Women’s Association, Greenhill CSRC, Chai Ladies and Ghazali Trust, the lead organisation. The partnership is working to deliver mentoring, youth work and sports programmes for young people at risk of or vulnerable to serious youth violence and exploitation, programmes that empower young females, and projects that engage young people and their parents.
During the visit to Fatima Women’s Association, Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester said: “It is great to see that in the short time the community-led programme has been running in Oldham, it has already made a significant difference to young people in the area and the local community.
“It is clear that the organisations here have built a strong partnership and I am confident that by working together they will achieve the best possible outcome for young people in the area.
“We know that the knowledge of how to deal with violence in any community lies within the community, so it is vitally important for us to work together. The community-led approach to violence reduction strengthens relationships and trust between the community and partners from the voluntary and statutory sectors, improves how information is shared and is used to inform decision making, and creates opportunities for integrated working.”
Deputy Mayor for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire, Bev Hughes, said: “The strength of our approach to reducing violence relies heavily on multiple partners, and opportunities like today to bring partners, community members and young people together highlight what can be achieved by working together.
“The work undertaken in Oldham is clearly having a positive impact on young people and the local community, and I look forward to hearing about how this progresses.”
Cllr Amanda Chadderton, Leader of Oldham Council, said: “Making sure our residents are safe and reducing violence are priorities for Oldham Council and our partners.
“Community-led programmes like this are important because local people have a real understanding and handle on what goes on in their areas and what can be done to improve them.
“It’s good to see the scheme up and running and I’m sure it’s already delivering real positives for the young people involved.”
Amjid Mahmood, Chairman of Ghazali Trust, said: "The VRU funding in the Glodwick area provides the opportunity to offer support to young people and their families, in particular those who need it the most and who may not have been able to access it previously. A variety of engaging activities are being planned and delivered to help divert young people into more purposeful activities and positive outcomes. These are being delivered by a consortium of partners that are well embedded in the local community they serve."
Oldham was the fourth borough in the city-region to receive funding from the VRU as part of its investment in community-led programmes, outlined in Greater Manchester’s Serious Violence Action Plan. The community-led programmes enable the VRU to work closely with communities to understand the strengths, challenges, and needs of the community and determine how local investments will be made.
Community-led programmes are currently running in Manchester, Bolton, Salford, Bury, Oldham, and Tameside, with plans to launch programmes in the remaining four boroughs of Greater Manchester by the end of the year.
To find out more about the work of the Greater Manchester VRU visit Homepage - Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit (gmvru.co.uk) or follow @gm_vru on Twitter and Instagram.
Article Published: 27/10/2022 12:12 PM