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#PowerToChange partners. Violence is preventable

13 Jun 2024

Our #PowerTo Change community partners had a very productive meeting on Friday 7th June, where as well as sharing and updating each other on local issues they met with Alistair Wilson, Evidence and Evaluation Lead, Violence Reduction Network, to discuss how they could partner with the local VRN.

The meeting started with participants sharing updates, common issues included:

  • Struggle to win funding to continue or grow work.
  • Steep rise in demand for services as people become more affected by poverty.
  • A lot of efforts to support young people but does need long term funding.
  • Using arts and media to attract young people to sessions and to give them a voice proving successful in Aaron’s work.
  • Concerns about city council issuing a S114 notice and how bankruptcy would impact on sector. Reaching People trying to coordinate and liaise with city council.
  • Concerns about the somewhat erratic way PIP assessment are carried out , and process can be a big hurdle for disadvantaged people, especially if not confident communicating in English to overcome.
  • Many people, especially younger people cannot be bothered to vote, so work being done to encourage them to register to vote and to understand why they should vote.
  • Still a huge demand for food banks
  • More than ever our sector is needed and showing what can be achieved by “rooted” creative and agile local organisations

We the discussed the impact of city council home working policies on service delivery and connection between community groups and city council. All present felt this was an area, where more work should be carried out by city council cabinet and senior management, to evaluate the impact on service delivery. As discussed in previous meetings there was a feeling that often there is not adequate communication and consultation with our sector. In this case was often really hard to meet council staff who only work certain days in the office and will not do visits on home working days.

I can understand why council staff want to homework, but it does seem that the impact on “customers and citizens” has not been fully thought through. We should attend a full council meeting and ask them to look into this

Kieran shared that following on from our last meeting which Steve, from CSJ attended, the CSJ were interested in exploring this issue further as it seems to be a working practice that has become a norm without the scrutiny of impact on service delivery. All agreed this was something we should follow up on.

VRN session

Alistair shared a brief overview of the VRN and how it sought to prevent violent behaviour in young people, by developing evidence based partnership approaches rooted in a public health approach. Several participants were involved in initiatives such as the VIP and Phoenix project. Participants were keen to know how they could get involved and how they could benefit from the learning of the VRN.

Alistair shared that most of their funding was tied up in “bigger” long term projects and as and when opportunities arose to launch a new project and partners needed, they would be shared. The VRN both locally and through their national network are collecting evidence of “what works” , which they will promote.

Participants, welcomed this, and encouraged VRN to consider sending out brief user friendly summaries of initial learning and good practice. Participants were also keen to know did the NHS, city and county council have to listen to learning coming out of VRN. They often seem to have own agendas, would make sense to have a “joined up” approach.

Really useful session, lots of learning and keen to work in partnership with the VRN

John Lewis - The Ebb

The meeting ended with all present sharing it had been positive to share and learn.

Meetings like this are really useful and we now need to share our voice with key decision makers to being about change

DJ Golden Token

For more info on the work of the VRN

For more information on our #PowerToChange Approach