Hundreds of young people at risk of becoming involved in violence will benefit from targeted support to guide them away from crime – including one-to-one mentoring, group work, sports activities and help into education, training and jobs.
The council has awarded a total of £80,000 to three community organisations to support young people in central Croydon, New Addington and Shrublands and help them to stay safe.
In central Croydon, P4YE have received £30,000 to deliver group activities and conversations, as well as one-to-one mentoring with those in need of a higher level of support.
PlayPlace have also received £30,000 to support 50 young people (aged 12-25) in New Addington through activities like multi-sports, music production and learning first aid. There will also be sessions designed specifically for girls, as well as workshops on self-esteem, setting goals, social media, decision-making and knife crime.
In Shrublands, Gloves not Gunz have been awarded £20,000 to offer on-street detached youth work, mentoring, group work, sports and help with finding jobs, training, and education. They have a strong track record of using sport to engage young people and guide them down a positive path, so they will also set up boxing, mixed martial arts, jiu-jitsu and yoga sessions.
The council invited organisations to bid for the funding grants from London’s Violence Reduction Unit to help tackle youth violence last month, initially in two priority areas – New Addington and the town centre. Extra funding was made available to help young people on the Shrublands estate.
Adam Ballard, co-Founder of Gloves not Gunz said, “We will be using a strategic approach with detached outreach work, enrichment sessions, mentoring and employability and training support to help change the trajectory of those that find themselves involved in crime, exploitation and violence.”
The council is working closely with these organisations and listening to residents to make sure that the new activities successfully engage young people in the target areas and take on board local community knowledge and support.
Jason Perry, Executive Mayor of Croydon said: “I want Croydon to be safer for all young people and that means targeting our resources to help those who are vulnerable and at risk of becoming affected by crime, either as victims or perpetrators.
“We’ve listened to residents about what young people need in their neighbourhoods to support them and help divert them away from crime, and we’re harnessing the skills and experience of our community partners to deliver it. From one-to-one mentoring to sports activities like boxing and football, we want this funding to steer young people towards more positive activities and support them to them reach their full potential.”