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Over £1million funding boost for youth anti-violence interventions across Lancashire

Lancashire Violence Reduction Network has secured government funding to steer young people away from violent crime and create a better understanding of childhood trauma amongst services.

The three initiatives, Trauma Informed Lancashire, DIVERT Youth, and ED Navigators have secured a combined £1,036,181 in funding.

Trauma Informed Lancashire is a multi-agency initiative with ambitions for public and third sector organisations across the county to further progress ways of working with people who have experienced psychological trauma. The funding will be used to develop and deliver training programmes to educate professionals working in policing, healthcare, and social care on the latest thinking on trauma. Professionals will be able to use this knowledge to adapt how they work so that the people they come into contact with are not just listened to but also understood and approached with empathy. This will make a significant positive difference to people’s experiences of public services and has been shown to have a positive long term and sustained difference to their life and the lives of those around them.

DIVERT Lancashire team
DIVERT Lancashire team

Youth DIVERT is a new extension of the existing DIVERT programme but with mentors bringing a dedicated focus to a younger age group. 10-17 year olds who have committed a less serious offence will be offered support to help them to steer their lives into a more positive direction. Mentors will work in a non-judgemental way to understand how the young person arrived at a point where they committed an offence. Young people will be offered access to diversionary activities such as sports and creative arts in addition to help with education, training, and employment opportunities. Youth DIVERT mentors will work with these young people to help prevent them from escalating into the criminal justice system in the future.

Emergency department navigators outside Blackpool VIctoria Hospital
Emergency department navigators outside Blackpool Victoria Hospital

The ED Navigator programme first launched in Blackpool and later Preston to offer support to young people who arrive at hospital with violence related injuries and those who feel they are living in dangerous situations. Mentors working within the emergency department engage with people to understand what has happened and offer access to support services to help prevent further incidents from occurring. The funding is enabling the initiative to be delivered in all emergency departments across Lancashire.

Det Ch Supt Sue Clarke, head of Lancashire Violence Reduction Network commented:

“The funding is really good news as it is enabling us to both continue and extend the important work being done to support young people into positive life choices. Young people arriving in emergency departments and who have come into contact with the police are more able to access specialist non-judgemental support to help get their lives back on track.

“In over 30 years as a police officer I have seen the impact that childhood trauma can have on people’s lives. Listening to people who have come into contact with services and to professionals working in services, it’s clear that this training can make a positive difference to people’s lives in the short as well as long term. There has been real demand for professionals to be educated in trauma informed approaches and we’re delighted to be enabling this to happen.”

Andrew Snowden, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire said:

“I’m really pleased that additional funding from Government has been secured that will support our work to tackle crime, prevent it from happening in the first place and keep people safe, whist ensuring those who require support get what they need.

“The Lancashire Violence Reduction Network and similar organisations across the country, have again been funded this year by Government to help tackle crime, support young people and back our police with the resources they need to make communities safer.

“By working together with partners through the Network we can stop people falling into a cycle of involvement in the criminal justice system, whilst also getting tough of offenders, particularly reoffenders, as I lead the fight against crime in Lancashire.”

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