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Mayor of London Sadiq Khan visits Redthread

July 14th, 2016


Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, has visited our Youth Violence Intervention Programme (YVIP) at St Mary’s Hospital to learn more about our work with young victims of violence and exploitation, alongside the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Sophie Linden.

The YVIP programme, which is supported by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), has been running at St Mary’s Hospital since October 2014. The programme embeds specialist youth workers in the A&E department, where they support young people aged 11-25 in the ‘teachable moment’. Many of these young people have been stabbed, shot or have been the victim of domestic violence or sexual exploitation.

Sadiq Khan said: “Redthread youth workers are doing an incredible job helping young victims to move away from the circles that led to them getting hurt, but there is much more we can do. Alongside enforcement and tougher penalties for carrying knives, we are bringing together experts, services, schools, and community groups to tackle this problem together, and help prevent our children from making the terrible mistakes which so gravely threaten young lives in the capital.”

Sophie Linden said: “Eight young people have lost their lives on the streets of London since the beginning of this year. That’s eight young people cut down in their prime”.

“When it comes to serious youth violence, enforcement alone is not enough, and Redthread offers young people a ‘teachable moment’ and a chance to turn their lives away from the dangerous path they have gone down.”

Dr Asif Rahman, consultant in adult and paediatric emergency medicine at St Mary’s who works very closely with the Redthread team, said: “I welcome the opportunity to show the Mayor of London the work that we are doing in partnership with Redthread to help young people who have been victims of violent crime and gang-related sexual violence and exploitation.”

“We in the hospital are in the ideal position to utilise that teachable moment when these young people come in as emergencies and are willing to listen and engage.  We want to help them break that cycle of violence and stop them being involved in potentially damaging behaviour to themselves and others. We want to form a bridge from the hospital into the community, supporting these young, often vulnerable people when they leave the hospital and hopefully make them stick with community programmes to ensure they leave a life of violence and hopefully don’t come back in a worse off state”

We are really pleased to have hosted this visit with St Mary’s and look forward to continuing our partnership with the Mayor and his office.

Sadiq Khan at St Mary's

The Mayor’s visit attracted much attention from the press and media including this BBC piece and this article in the Evening Standard.

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