We are writing to let you know about a new initiative that is launching in our community, to help increase our young people’s feeling of safety on their journey to and from school, and to provide more youth workers who are out and about in the local area.
From early October, Sport Birmingham, will be supporting our young people through detached youth work on the journey to and from school. Youth workers will provide points of safety along the main walking routes from school to reduce the potential risks of young people becoming exposed to violence or bullying.
The youthworkers from Sport Birmingham are also working closely with school staff, police and other local organisations to create and share opportunities with parents and young people. Together we aim to help young people develop skills and interests, improve access to support and to promote a positive sense of worth and purpose.
The project has been made possible through funding from the Home Office and the Youth Endowment Foundation, and is being delivered by the West Midlands Violence Reduction Unit (VRU). The VRU are a partnership between Education, Police, Health, Local authorities, community figures and partners. The partnership work together to reduce the causes and potential impact of violence in all its forms.
The project happening within our community is part of a larger programme, Step Together, involving a number of other school routes around the West Midlands. It is a national pilot, to test if this kind of support is something that should be rolled out across the country.
To help us understand if the project is making a difference, an evaluation is also taking place with the help of an independent team of academics. This may involve asking you or your children to complete anonymous surveys to understand whether
they feel safe on their journey to and from school, and how you feel about their safety in the community.
Our children have the right to feel safe and Step Together is an opportunity to improve those feelings of safety and confidence when travelling to and from school.
We hope you join us in this journey over school year.
Please visit https://westmidlands-vru.org/about/ for more information about ST and to find out more about the work of VRU.
If you have questions, or would like a conversation about Step Together, please contact: [email protected], and we will be happy to answer them.