Youth workers to help keep pupils safe to and from school - The Solihull Observer

Youth workers to help keep pupils safe to and from school

Solihull Editorial 26th Dec, 2021   0

YOUTH workers are taking up position in Chelmsley Wood and on routes to Tudor Grange to help keep pupils safe on the journey to and from school.

It’s all part of an initiative, called Step Together, which is led by the West Midlands Violence Reduction Unit and launched at Erdington Academy last month.

The initiative now has youth workers looking out for students in areas including Erdington, Lozells, the Jewellery Quarter, Newtown, Sutton Coldfield and Sparkbrook in Birmingham, as well key locations in Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton.

The youth workers will be placed in busy areas, where lots of pupils commute to and from schools.

The scheme has been made possible thanks to a host of partners who have worked with the Violence Reduction Unit, including local councils, police, schools, businesses, parents and community members. All the partners shared one aim, which was to have more trusted adults in place to protect young people from potential violence.

Young people, school staff and community members have come together to identify where the youth workers could make the most difference.

The region’s Violence Reduction Unit has been successful in securing £1.2million funding from the Home Office and the Youth Endowment Fund to trial the scheme as part of the pilot.

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster said: “It’s so important that our young people feel safe not only when they are at school, but also when they’re travelling to and from it.

“Tackling youth violence is a top priority and projects like this, led by the Violence Reduction Unit, are really good examples of new initiatives designed to do just that.”

The director of the West Midlands Violence Reduction Unit, Claire Gollop, added: “This project demonstrates what can be achieved when communities, schools, local partnerships and the police take collective responsibility for something as fundamental as making sure our children arrive at school safely and feeling ready to learn.”

The Youth Endowment Fund is contributing more than £400,000 to the scheme.

Its executive director Jon Yates said: “Too many young people in the West Midlands live in fear of violence.

“Step Together is an important project with the potential to change things.”

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