Boris Johnson awards funding to gang violence project

By Adam Offord

| 14 March 2016

An award-winning service that places specialist youth workers in hospital emergency departments to tackle gang violence has been extended for another year after Mayor of London Boris Johnson agreed to £345,000 of extra funding.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has announced additional funding for the anti-gangs project run by Redthread. Picture: Tom Campbell

The initiative, which sees youth workers placed into accident and emergency departments to work with young victims of gang crime, was set up a decade ago by youth charity Redthread at King’s College Hospital.

Since then it has expanded into St Mary’s, St George’s and The Royal London and has so far helped more than 600 young people across the capital.

The new funding will allow the project to continue throughout 2016/17 and will also help it expand to offer similar support to young victims of domestic violence in conjunction with domestic violence prevention service Solace Women’s Aid.

Announced in December last year, the partnership will see expert domestic violence advocates offer young victims advice and “a way out”.

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “Knife crime in London is at its lowest in seven years, but every young Londoner hospitalised by gangs and violence is one too many, and a problem we take extremely seriously. 

“These specialist workers, at the emergency frontline, are helping to break the cycle of reoffending, offer young people the support they need to seek a way out of violent lifestyles and making London safer for everyone.”

John Poyton, chief executive of Redthread, added: "Having enjoyed 10 years of youth violence intervention in the A&E environment with little funding available, it has been incredibly refreshing to work with the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, whose innovative commissioning has enabled a step change in the public health approach to violence.”

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