Friday, 19 April 2024
Friday, 19 April 2024

London Mayor visits charity to hear first-hand about partnership’s impact

THE Mayor of London Sadiq Khan visited King’s College Hospital to see the impact of Redthread’s work on the ground. His visit coincided with an announcement from London’s Violence Reduction Unit and the Mayor’s office of a further investment of £7.8m to support programmes to embed youth workers in A&E departments. 

The Mayor met with hospital A&E staff and youth workers from Redthread to hear first-hand about the impact of the partnership work we are doing to help and support young people. He also met with a young person who has recently been a victim of violence and discussed how Redthread youth workers had supported him during his period in hospital and his safe transition back into the community. The Mayor heard how Redthread’s approach places youth workers as trusted adults in a time of crisis. Youth workers then combine resources from hospitals, other appropriate services and communities to provide a holistic wrap-around service for young people. 

Redthread’s work in King’s College Hospital began in 2005 and was the first time youth workers were based in a hospital in the UK. 

Tracey Burley, Chief Executive, Redthread, said: 

“As a charity, we welcome the VRU and Mayor’s office investment of more funding towards embedding youth workers in emergency departments. We work in close partnership with hospitals, healthcare professionals and other appropriate stakeholders to help put a stop to cycles of violence. Our youth workers work directly within A&E Departments and Major Trauma Centres, meeting with young people affected by violence to provide holistic, bespoke intervention to meet whatever their needs may be, which could include, for example, support for their well-being and safety whilst in hospital, help for them to access mental health services or to navigate the criminal justice system if applicable, as circumstances will be unique to each individual youth. 

“We find that teachable moments come when young people are reachable in the hospital environment, as the unique setting presents the opportunity to support young people to become experts in their own lives. This new investment in reaching young people at this pivotal moment will make a vital difference to these young people, their families and their communities.” 

A Redthread Youth Worker said: 

“We work directly within A&E and Major Trauma wards, meeting with young people affected by violence to provide holistic, bespoke interventions to support them through complex and vulnerable moments to make a positive difference. 

“It’s essential for our team to have close relationships with the clinical teams to help the young people navigate what is a traumatic experience. We ensure we are advocating for the young person to access the best support and amplify their voice.” 

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: 

“I am committed to tackling violence and building a safer city for all Londoners.

“My approach of being tough on violence through the hard work of our police and tough on the complex causes of violence is showing signs of progress. Overall, crime continues to fall in London, bucking the national trend, with knife crime down by 10 per cent and gun crime down by 30 per cent since May 2016. However, it’s clear more needs to be done in partnership to continue making progress. 

“Partnership work from prevention to enforcement is vital to tackling violence and the work my VRU does alongside the NHS and Redthread and its violence reduction programme is a fantastic example of working together to identify opportunities to intervene early to divert young people and help them access positive life opportunities.” 

Lib Peck, Director of London’s Violence Reduction Unit, said: 

“We firmly believe that violence is preventable, not inevitable. 

“That outcome is based on partnership and is the foundation of the work we do alongside the NHS and Redthread to tackle violence through prevention and early intervention. 

“The VRU is a champion of youth work in our city and the invaluable role they play in a young person’s life. I’m looking forward to building on the progress made with new investment to back up our fantastic youth workers so they can continue making life-changing interventions.”

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