Our ever- growing SOS Team has spread its wings further across the capital, helping more young people at risk on gang crime and serious youth violence resettle and lead positive, productive lives.
Recent developments include:
• St Giles Trust’s involvement in the Met’s pan-London Safe and Secure programme which relocates gang members at high risk to enable them break free from this lifestyle. In order to be accepted onto the project, clients are required to sign up to a memorandum of understanding to stay away from the area which poses risks and engage with an intensive and challenging package of support. The programme works across London and St Giles Trust will be working with some of the most high profile clients, bringing the expertise of the SOS Project work with gang members to support Safe and Secure.
• We have also developed a new specialist service working in a gang hotspot on an estate bordering Brent and Westminster. Funded under the Barrow Cadbury’s T2A Programme, it works across the two borough boundaries to tackle rising cross-borough gang culture and serious youth violence. Clients will undergo intensive one-to-one mentoring and gang exit programmes, guiding them away from this lifestyle with a strong emphasis on education, training and employment. Most importantly, the project will not be restricted to working within strict borough boundaries.
• We are also providing local authority partnership funded services in Greenwich, south east London and Ealing, west London, working with 12-15 year olds who are either caught up in or at risk of gang crime.
• We are working in Croydon to support young offenders who are serving sentences related to the 2011 disturbances.
Our work continues in Kensington and Chelsea and Southwark, alongside our existing work resettling young offenders leaving HMP YOIs Ashfield and Portland.
The team are seeing ever younger clients presenting to them in need of support and the dynamic of their work is starting to take a more whole family-based approach. This is in response to the fact that it is sometimes families in poverty driving the offending of the young person, alongside influences from siblings and other family members. Our Kensington and Chelsea project has been trialling a Breakfast Club, giving young clients from deprived backgrounds the opportunity to have a healthy breakfast, work out at the gym and use this as an opportunity to engage them in seeking work or further training. A series of pilot sessions before the summer break proved a success and the team are expecting to run further Breakfast Clubs this autumn.