Up to 1,425 school pupils are set to benefit from a £1.2m award from the Young Londoner’s Fund (YLF), which will spearhead Croydon’s plans to reduce youth violence in the borough.
The money, which Croydon successfully bid for from the Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC), is funding a three-year school-based programme from January 2020.
Ten schools and colleges will be involved in the programme, which will see teachers trained to identify pupils most challenged by the transition from primary to secondary school (years 6 and 7) and by leaving school (year 11).
“This is a great opportunity for us to work with school and youth organisations to help improve the lives of local families.
“The programme will also include four hours of parental support each week. This will focus on parents who feel isolated, are reluctant to approach services and unaware of support networks, as well as supporting parents with low self-esteem.”
Councillor Alisa Flemming, cabinet member for children, young people and learning
“This funding from the Mayor of London shows real confidence in our public health approach to preventing violence in the borough. The Young Londoners Fund is hugely oversubscribed and to have secured over a million pounds for this programme is hugely important investment for Croydon.
“The project will deliver trauma-informed training, mental health support and diversionary activities for young people, creating alliances between schools, and support for parents, their local communities and support and protect young people during their transition from Year 5 to Year 6 when we know they are more vulnerable.””
Councillor Hamida Ali, cabinet member for safer Croydon and communities
The diversionary activities will involve young people gaining experience in a range of employment, environmental, sport, digital and arts projects, which aims to help address the impact of adverse childhood experiences by empowering young people and helping to encourage behaviour change.
Community groups will lead the activities and they will be co-ordinated by Croydon Voluntary Action, with support from Croydon Council.
The scheme’s success will be measured in a number of ways, including the number of young people being excluded from school, improvement to young people’s mental health, improved family relationships and increased youth engagement in decision making.