Our Youth Violence Intervention Programme runs in hospital emergency departments in partnership with the major trauma network. There, our innovative service aims to reduce serious youth violence, and has revolutionised the support available to young victims of violence.
Every year thousands of young people aged 11 – 24 come through hospital doors as victims of assault and exploitation. It is then, at this time of crisis, that our youth workers utilise their unique position embedded in the emergency departments alongside clinical staff, to engage these young victims.
Our extensive experience tells us that this moment of vulnerability, the ‘Teachable Moment’, when young people are out of their comfort zone, alienated from their peers, and often coming to terms with the effects of injury, is a time of change. In this moment many are more able than ever to question what behaviour and choices have led them to this hospital bed and, with specialist youth worker support, pursue change they haven’t felt able to before.
We focus on this moment and encourage and support young people in making healthy choices and positive plans to disrupt the cruel cycle of violence that can too easily lead to re-attendance, re-injury, and devastated communities.
King’s College Hospital
Redthread’s Youth Violence Intervention Programme was incepted over ten years ago in partnership with King’s College Hospital in Lambeth, the MTC for South East London, Kent and Medway, where the programme is now run by five full-time members of staff. King’s commitment to the community it serves, alongside their belief and enthusiasm in the core messages of Redthread’s philosophy has been central to the Programme’s success and development. Here’s to the next ten years!
St Mary’s Hospital
In October 2014, St Mary’s became the second hospital to join our programme. By opening its doors to us the Major Trauma Centre, which covers the North West quadrant of London, has made it possible for us to reach out to hundreds more vulnerable young people in the Teachable Moment every year, and steered Redthread into becoming a pan-London organisation.
St George’s Hospital
The programme was rolled out at St George’s Hospital in April 2015. Staff and patients alike have been quick to take to Redthread and the programme, and our youth workers were greeted with great enthusiasm and support from day one. Located in Tooting, St George’s is the MTC for South West London and is perfectly placed to collaborate with the team at King’s, and to make use of the variety of services our Well Centre can offer young people.
The Royal London
The Royal London is the MTC which covers the North East quadrant of London and, since April 2015, has hosted the Youth Violence Intervention Programme in partnership with St Giles Trust.
As well as planning to maintain our long-term embedded services in London’s four Major Trauma Centres, we are looking into sharing the model and best practise out-of-London. Serious youth violence is not a London-centric issue and the expansion of the Youth Violence Intervention Programme would mean many more young victims of violence and exploitation could benefit from the support of an innovative youth work approach. Keep your eyes peeled or get in touch!
The Well Centre
When young people told us that accessing everyday health provisions was often complicated by practical issues and concerns regarding social stigma, Redthread listened. In 2011, in partnership with Dr Stephanie Lamb, the Well Centre model was born.
The Well Centre, Streatham
This is the site of our first youth health hub. In partnership with Herne Hill Group Practice, the Well Centre provides young people, aged 13-20, with drop in access to GPs, CAMHS counsellors, and Redthread’s experienced team of specialist youth workers. Whether in crisis or wanting a chat over a hot chocolate, young people have a safe place to raise their concerns and receive helpful and appropriate support and advice. 98% of young people who have visited the Well Centre say they would recommend it to their friends.
For more information visit http://www.thewellcentre.org.
Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) is not currently a statutory part of the curriculum, and as a result, there are no concrete rules outlining what young people should and should not be taught. Redthread’s education work centres around promoting the importance of this discipline. We collaborate with others to discuss topics that are most beneficial to teenagers, and empower students by delivering workshops, assemblies, and confidential drop-in sessions.
Diabetes Transition Team
Evidence suggests that young people living with type 1 diabetes often struggle with the management of their illness. Not only are they faced with the usual trials and tribulations of being young, but have a long-term serious health condition to contend with too. Our diabetes work was founded in response to this problem, as part of our Well Centre model, and our diabetes youth worker promotes health management in partnership with King’s Health Partners at Guys and St Thomas’ and King’s College Hospital.
The Redthread Youth Panel is a group of 15-20-year-olds who provide a youth-focused perspective on Redthread’s approach, and help develop our services, all whilst gaining training in health promotion and professional skills. We believe in the potential of young people to make changes for the better; in their lives and in their society. By empowering the Youth Panel with charity-wide decisions we hope to help them build a society that is healthier, happier, and more equal.
Over the last four years, the Well Centre in Streatham has seen over twelve hundred individual young people access its services. This popularity and success has made us more confident than ever that the unique Well Centre model can be replicated effectively across London. Watch this space!
London Gang Exit
Redthread is delighted to be a delivery partner, alongside Safer London and Only Connect, of London Gang Exit – launched February 2016. This new service means that for the first time ever, anyone aged 16-24, regardless of what London borough they live in, can get support to exit. The service is designed to complement and enhance existing local services across London, and fill in the gaps in provision.
London Gang Exit is the first pan-London service for anyone aged 16-24, regardless of their gender. This includes those who are at risk from gangs and those who pose a risk of harm to others. This approach is unique as it recognises the complexities of gang involvement and the blurring of lines between offender and victim.
All work delivered through the London Gang Exit service is tailored to the specific needs of the young person. This could include mental health support, employment support, and specialised support for young women, for example counselling following sexual exploitation.
Young people are allocated a trained caseworker to provide intensive holistic support, advocate on their behalf and build an effective and consistent relationship with them over an extended period of time.
What does LGE support look like?
London Gang Exit empowers young people to move away from gang lifestyles by providing support to exit, develop new skills and providing the opportunity for social reintegration into the community through receiving support, guidance and practical help.
The service offers holistic support over a six month intervention period. This support is offered via confidential one to one sessions in a location that is safe and comfortable for the service user. Depending on the service user’s level of need, the intensity of one to one support will be provided by a support worker or volunteer mentor.
Who’s behind London Gang Exit?
How to make a referral
To be eligible for referral, the young person (male or female) is required:
– To be aged between 16-24 and be affiliated with or involved in gangs.
– To be at significant risk of harm from gang activity, (such as through child sexual exploitation), or a risk to themselves, or posing a risk of harm to others.
– To show some motivation to end their gang involvement and a willingness to cooperate with the London Gang Exit service.
The young person will not be eligible:
– If they are not yet motivated to end their gang involvement.
– If they are already receiving extensive support from the borough that they are residing in, or from other statutory organisations, or if the services they require are already available locally to them.
– If they fall outside the eligible age range.
All enquiries about this service and full referrals need to be sent to the London Gangs Service Referral Unit.
Phone: 07850 282499
Email address: LondonGangExitReferral@londoncrc.org.uk.
The Hospital-based Interrupting Violence Exchange is a national network, founded and coordinated by Redthread. It is designed to help existing and emerging hospital-based violence intervention programmes share ideas and insights.
Through HIVE, we host regular teleconferences for practitioners from different projects and different parts of the UK to talk through the opportunities and challenges posed by the unique model. We also hold an annual symposium, where all those working on the model get together to discuss the latest developments.
If you would like to learn more about HIVE, please get in touch!