Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry today welcomed news of a £1.4million funding boost to help step up efforts to divert young people from violence.
Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) is one of 10 projects to benefit from the Government’s Youth Endowment Fund (YEF) as part of an £18m national pot to support young people out of the violence cycle.
Nottinghamshire has been earmarked £1,433,125 for the Divert Plus project - a new custody-based intervention project working with children aged between 10 and 17 arrested for violence or other offences.
The scheme, delivered in collaboration with the City and County Council and due to be launched in January 2022, is being funded until March 2024 and aims to reach young people at a critical point of their lives when they are most susceptible to change.
Young people recruited to the scheme will be offered mentoring for up to 12 months in addition to speech and language support – an issue for many young people in the youth justice system.
There are 10 projects nationally to benefit from the funding which will collectively support more than 7,300 children, providing them with an alternative to the revolving door of crime.
Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry said: “I am delighted Nottinghamshire has secured this funding to sustain the VRU’s vital intervention work and offer young people a positive future that doesn’t involve custody.
“Nottinghamshire is at the forefront of innovation when it comes to tackling violence, as shown by the VRU’s exciting community ambassador scheme. These efforts will continue in earnest and I will do everything possible to secure further funding to reinforce this work.”
Natalie Baker-Swift, Interim Head of the NNVRU, said: “This funding gives us a stable platform to support young people over the next two years.
“We have already seen the power of mentoring support in custody through our U-Turn project. This grant offers us a further opportunity to address the driving forces behind youth violence and work with vulnerable young people on a one-to-one basis to educate their choices and guide them to a more fulfilling and safer future.”
Nationally, the YEF will support programmes that work with children after they have been arrested, once they have been in hospital because of a violence assault, or when their teachers, youth workers, social workers, local police officers or other adults are worried that they might be at risk of becoming involved in violence.
Support ranges from mental health intervention, mentoring, positive activities, restorative justice and support in A&E.
Each project will be evaluated and the results shared to inform future service provision across England and Wales.
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