This post was first published by My London on 17/10/2019.
The money will be spent on giving anti-knife crime training to teachers and schools
A Croydon charity has been awarded more than £1 million in funding to help children at risk of being drawn into knife crime.
Lives Not Knives, founded in 2007 by Eliza Rebeiro, works with young people up to the age of 24, supporting them through education and training and into employment.
They are one of just 22 projects and programmes across England and Wales to be selected for the first round of the Youth Endowment Fund.
Lives Not Knives received £1,010,000 in funding, which they will use to deliver training and resources to teachers and support staff in schools with the highest rates of excluded pupils.
It is hoped this will help foster a “whole school approach” against knife crime , which those students deemed at most risk will be given additional mentoring.
‘They showed me there was more to life’
Abigale Wray, 19, who was supported by the charity for three years and now works for them, said she would have been “extremely lost” without their help.
She said: “Lives not Knives have had an major impact on my life, always being there when I need someone, being there for me physically and mentally.
“They showed me there was more to life and that just because I had been through a lot in life, doesn’t mean it was the end of my story.”
The support Abigale received included support at meetings with her college and the “extra push in life [she] didn’t even know [she] needed”.
Since January this year, she has become a part of the Lives Not Knives team, which she describes as her “dream job” and is partway through a level 3 youth work apprenticeship.
What other projects were chosen?
A total of 22 projects were chosen to be part of this first round of funding
- Lives Not Knives: LNK Educate
- Becoming a Man (BAM) (pending US ratification from BAM Licensee)
- Pause 4 Thought
- DARE 25
- Advanced Lifeskills (Leicestershire County Council)
- Branching Out (Wakefield Council Youth Work Team)
- Roots of Empathy: Nurturing Empathy Before Transition
- The Confident Resilient Children Project
- SW!TCH Lives (LifeLine Community Projects)
- Creating New Futures Through Boxing
- Multisystemic Therapy – Exploitation (MST-E)
- The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust: Reducing risk factors associated with crime for Year 6-7 children
- Functional Family Therapy for young people at risk of gang Involvement and exploitation (FFT-G)
- Transition hub for children new to and on the edge of care
- The Guiding Young Minds (GYM) Programme (ASSIST Trauma Care)
- The Transition and Resilience Project (Family Support)
- Child to Parent Violence (CPV) (RISE Mutual CIC)
- The Brandon Centre Systemic Integrative Treatment (BC-SIT)
- Thurston Family Resilience Project
- The Respect Project
- Protective sibling mentoring and connecting service
- Divert Youth
Part of a decade-long programme
Youth Endowment Fund chair Sir Kevan Collins said this first round of £16.2 million in grants was only the first round of a decade-long programme, hoping to build a better understanding of how to prevent young people being drawn into crime and violence.
The fund was established with a £200 million endowment from the Home Office and is run by Impetus, in partnership with the Early Intervention Foundation and Social Investment Business.
Home Office minister for crime and policing Kit Malthouse said: “I’m delighted that these projects – the first to benefit from our £200 million Youth Endowment Fund administered by Impetus – will help to keep more than 30,000 vulnerable youngsters away from crime and violence.
“It’s vital that we give young people the skills and resilience they need to lead positive, safe and fulfilling lives.”
So far this year, a total of 70 people have needlessly lost their lives to knife crime, including teenagers as young as 14 and adults as old as 69.
Previous Home Office initiatives, such as sending thousands of boxes printed with anti-knife messages to chicken shops around the country, have been criticised for being tone-deaf and racist.
The Metropolitan Police encourages young people who need help or suspect someone they love is involved in knife crime, to visit www.knifefree.co.uk or LondonNeedsYouAlive.