<  Latest news

Redthread releases ‘Scaling Impact’, an ambitious five-year strategy to shape the future of health-based youth violence interventions in the UK

June 29th, 2021

After a period of rapid growth, youth work charity Redthread is today launching an ambitious five-year strategy to scale the impact of its work across the UK.

From the first Youth Violence Intervention Programme in King’s College Hospital in South-East London, the charity now works shoulder to shoulder with NHS clinicians to deliver its flagship Youth Violence Intervention Programme (YVIP), which places trauma-informed youth workers in emergency departments in 13 hospitals across London and the Midlands.

Between 2017-2020 alone Redthread grew its staff headcount by 125% (from 36-81) and the number of young people supported by the charity grew by 180% (from 1808 to 2905) in the same time period. Off the back of this success, Redthread now seeks not only to develop its infrastructure but to impact the sector as a whole.


Delivering gold standard, innovative services:

While turning young lives around by delivering gold standard youth violence intervention programmes remains a priority, ‘Scaling Impact’ also lays out plans to pilot new innovative ways to support young people experiencing or at risk of violence. This spirit of innovation builds on lessons learned through delivering ground-breaking partnership projects including: a long running GP-Youth Work collaboration at South London’s The Well Centre, an in-hospital adolescent outreach programme ‘KAOS’ and the Google.org backed Social Switch Project, delivered by Redthread in partnership with social business Catch22. New projects will see Redthread aiming to meet young people before they become victims of violence, exploitation or knife crime.


Convening the conversations that create change:

On top of direct service delivery, Redthread also seeks to act as a thought leader in the field of youth violence intervention by using its deep knowledge of youth work in health settings to inform the sector as this way of working grows. Over the next five years the charity will extend the Hospital Interrupting Violence Exchange (HIVE) Network to welcome more youth practitioners working in health settings to its training sessions, conferences and webinars. Redthread will also continue to develop its policy team, building on its work coordinating the APPG on Knife Crime and Violence Reduction to diversify its public affairs and engagement programme and bring frontline insights to those with the power to change policy.


Safeguarding Minister Victoria Atkins said: 

“This Government is doing everything in its power to keep young people safe from harm, and Redthread are a vital partner in this mission.

“Their Youth Violence Intervention Programme disrupts the cycle of violence that brings hundreds of teens to hospital each year, helping to turn their lives around, which is why we’ve backed the project with over £1.4m since 2016.

“We’re committed to taking a whole-system approach to tackling youth violence and fully support the launch of Redthread’s new strategy, which will see more young lives saved over the next five years.”


Redthread CEO John Poyton says:

‘The past five years have seen a tragic escalation of knife crime and youth violence. Redthread have responded to this need and have proven that our work in the hospital helps change young lives. Our job now is clear: to find new ways to help young people who are at risk sooner, and to share what we’ve learned to support others working in the sector and inform policy around youth work and youth violence. 

Underpinning all of this is a commitment to ensuring Redthread has the right building blocks in place to continue our organisational journey- that means securing a diverse and robust funding mix, investing in our specialist workforce and making sure Redthread is a great place to work.’


Emer Sutherland, Director of Emergency Medicine at Kings College Hospital says:

‘Redthread colleagues have to feel like they belong in both the hospital and in the community. The role isn’t just about building quick and credible rapport with young people in crisis- so much of it is about the teamwork and relationships Redthread youth workers build with clinicians and community partners in places like local authorities, primary care and other charities. From the first programme in Kings, the charity has already grown so much, but I’m excited to see Redthread expand further- not just in terms of scale but also in terms of scope. We see so many young people facing various issues that Redthread’s expertise, clinical confidence and strong networks could enormously help.”

Find out more and download the strategy here

Notes to Editor 

For more information, further quotations or images please contact Eleanor Riley on eleanor.riley@redthread.org.uk

Or 07734 767732


About Redthread:

Redthread embraces the power of teachable moments in health settings, where we provide trauma informed support for young people who have experienced violence and exploitation. Redthread adopts a contextual safeguarding approach to ensure that a young person’s safety is of utmost priority, not just within the health setting but also within their home, education and social environments. Redthread currently work in 13 hospitals across London and the midlands. We also deliver the Kings Adolescent Outreach Project, and The Social Switch Project- which is a partnership with social business Catch22.


Back to Latest News

Join our mailing list