Over 50 Senior Strategic Leaders from across the Midlands were brought together by St Giles Trust on Wednesday 10th January 2024 to discuss the negative impact of youth violence and economic disadvantage across the region, and the lasting effect the pandemic has had on these issues.
The roundtable event in Birmingham, funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, brought together leaders, including: The Department of Education, Police and Crime Commissioner, Violence Reduction Partnership, Coventry City Council, HMP Prison Werrington, Redthread, HMPPS, Birmingham Council, City of Wolverhampton Council, West Midlands Police, The National Lottery Community Fund, Mind, BVSC, Empower U, West Coventry Academy, Horizons, St Basils, Coventry Extended Learning Centre, Cranstoun, National County Lines Co-Ordination Centre, Core and Co Foundation and the Anti-Slavery Network to share expertise on the impact these issues have on communities in the Midlands and discuss what could be done to tackle youth violence and economic disadvantage.
At the event St Giles Trust launched a Covid Impact Report, produced by JH Consultancy and funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, which investigated the long-term consequences of the pandemic and found that, among St Giles Trust clients:
- 91% were ‘more concerned about finance and debt’ than before the pandemic.
- 69% were ‘more concerned about their children’ now than pre pandemic.
The report also found that 79% of St Giles Trust Caseworkers ‘found it harder to access specialist services for their clients’ post-pandemic.
St Giles Trust has been working in The Midlands since 2016 and is currently running 19 projects supporting thousands of people across the region through intensive one-to-one support, advice and guidance sessions and group work.
St Giles Trust’s mission is to help people held back by poverty, unemployment, the criminal justice system, homelessness, exploitation and abuse to build a positive future. This includes young people in the Midlands facing the greatest adversity through economic circumstances, at risk of exploitation and being caught up in a cycle of serious youth violence.
Tracey Burley, CEO of St Giles Trust, said:
“It was fantastic to see a vast array of expertise and experience coming together today. What we need now is ideas followed by actions that will change systems, whether that’s to reduce youth violence or to tackle food poverty. Now our job is to find the blockers to this change and fix them to make sure no-one is left behind.”
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster, who gave closing remarks after the roundtable event said:
“Preventing, tackling and reducing violence is a top priority, because of the catastrophic consequences it has. I am grateful to St Giles for having organised this important event and to all the region’s leaders who attended. The event highlighted the need to address issues such as inequality, poverty abuse, neglect and exploitation – if we are to prevent, tackle and reduce violence, protect people and save lives.”
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