London’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) – set up by the Mayor in 2018 and the first of its kind in England – is investing £550,000 to fund the intensive leadership programme for 100 youth workers who are actively supporting young people directly affected by violence.
The leadership programme, starting in September and led by London Youth in partnership with Leap Confronting Conflict and Clore Social Leadership, will provide youth workers with the enhanced leadership skills they need to do an even better job under challenging circumstances.
Participants will be recruited from across the London Youth network, with the programme delivering 26 days of training across the year, timetabled to work around youth workers’ commitments. Training will include safeguarding, mental health modules and business planning. Throughout the course there will be mentoring and coaching from established voluntary youth sector leaders from London Youth.
They will be youth practitioners who show potential for sector leadership and influence in their communities, but who themselves face barriers to progressing into formal leadership roles. For example:
- They may have spent their careers supporting young people but haven’t had the opportunity to access formal youth work qualifications.
- They may not have been able to undertake professional development training, due to the significant cuts to funding that youth organisations have endured.
- They may feel uncomfortable in more traditional leadership programme settings.
Youth practitioners recruited for the programme will undergo 26 days of training across the year, timetabled to work around their commitments. Core modules will include trauma-informed practice, identity and boundaries and behaviour management delivered by Leap and partner organisations will cover modules on change management, mental health first aid, contextual & transitional safeguarding and business planning. Other training sessions in specialist and general practice and personal development will also be available.
Participants will have access to mentoring and coaching with established voluntary youth sector leaders from across the London Youth network and, on completion of the programme, they will also have access to an Innovation Fund to implement change in their community to benefit young people experiencing violence.