A new project placing “Street Mediators” in the places where young people congregate to help steer them away from knife crime is celebrating vital grant funding.
Online learning provider E2 has been awarded £25,000 from Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner Lord Willy Bach for its innovative Street Mediators project which will deploy fully-trained youth workers on the streets of Beaumont Leys, New Parks and Thurnby Lodge after school and during evenings to engage with young people and direct them towards positive activities to prevent their involvement in street violence and knife crime.
E2 is an experienced youth intervention charity which is already in receipt of PCC funding for its peer education scheme which is having a positive impact on young people’s lives and changing behaviour and attitudes towards carrying knives.
Its latest venture will engage young people on their own territory, helping them to make safer decisions about their future and referring them on to other important services where appropriate.
Last year, the PCC announced a one-off £100k funding pot for knife crime prevention projects that could help young people at risk of violence make a fresh start and change their behaviour in the long-term.
The Commissioner believes more central funding needs to be invested into youth diversion projects which focus on building self-esteem and the skills that can help young people manage their anger and successfully de-escalate conflict.
“I’m proud to support E2’s work once again and have every confidence their experienced youth workers will help make a difference to vulnerable young people who need support and guidance to manage the influences in their lives,” said Willy Bach.
“E2 has a proven track record of turning around lives, working with young people and their parents to bring about meaningful change. Many young people have already been transformed through its intervention and this new work will expand those opportunities for reform, working “on the street” in areas known to trigger aggression and violence among young people.”
Martin Buchanan, chief executive of E2, said: “We are still in the beginning stages of setting up our new Street Mediators project and I am positive that we will make a real difference to knife crime in Beaumont Leys, New Parks and Thurnby Lodge.
“One of the things that makes this project possible is our previous experience and knowledge of the issues around knife crime as we have been delivering sessions and working with high-risk individuals, their parents and parents that have been affected by knife crime. Part of our current work includes academic research with De Montfort University which will highlight any theories and research that will help to underpin the educational resource we will be sending out to schools and community groups in and around Leicestershire.
“Another area of our work is our Peer Education project in which we manage and coordinate volunteers who work one-to-one with young people that have been referred from schools, police, and key agencies. The Peer Education project is ongoing and we are making a real difference to young people lives and steering them away from using knives.”
E2’s work has been so successful, it is now looking for more peer educators, who work on a voluntary basis, to join and continue the good work.
If you have concerns about a young person using a knife please make a referral to firstname.lastname@example.org
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Friday 15th March 2019