FAQs

faqs
How did StreetDoctors start?
What makes StreetDoctors different?
Who do StreetDoctors teach?
Why are you only targeting young offenders? Why not Boy Scouts/Girl Guides etc?
Why do StreetDoctors volunteers teach?
Why not prevention?
Aren’t you just saving the lives of criminals?
Aren’t you just giving young offenders the impression that it’s okay to stab people?
Won’t teaching young people what to do discourage them from calling ambulances?
Do you think First Aid should be taught to everyone?
How are you changing lives?

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How did StreetDoctors start?

StreetDoctors is an award winning charity founded in 2008 by medical students in Liverpool, after realising the majority of the 11 to 16-year-old young offenders attending a general first-aid class they were teaching had known someone who had been stabbed or shot – or had been a victim themselves.

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What makes StreetDoctors different?

We directly target high-risk young people. We don’t give lectures. We are teaching them something useful that might make a real difference to their lives. But as well as saving lives, by highlighting the death and significant injury associated with violent crime, we help to discourage these young people from carrying weapons in the first place, as well as giving them the information they need to help them to dissuade their peers. By equipping these young people with practical skills we also increase their confidence and aspirations, helping them to change their attitude towards violence.

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Who do StreetDoctors teach?

We are the only charity in the UK directly targeting high-risk young people. We teach high-risk young people, who have either been involved in crime or are at greatest risk of it. We work with Youth Offending Teams, youth clubs and other charities, to transform the lives of these young people by giving them the skills and confidence to deliver life-saving first aid.

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Why are you only targeting young offenders? Why not Boy Scouts/Girl Guides etc?

Violence is the third leading cause of death of young people in Europe. Some of these deaths happen because the people present do not know what to do; they panic and don’t call for help. Teaching this high risk group how to call 999 and deliver simple first aid can and does save lives. Young adults are the most likely age group to ‘grow out of crime’ and by highlighting the death and significant injury associated with violent crime, we help to discourage these young people from carrying weapons in the first place, as well as giving them the information they need to help them to dissuade their peers. By equipping these young people with practical skills we also increase their confidence and aspirations, helping them to change their attitude towards violence.

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Why do StreetDoctors volunteers teach?

Our medical students and doctors volunteer for StreetDoctors because it gives them great experience, as well as the ability to help some of the most vulnerable people in their local communities.

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Why not prevention?

Prevention is important – and there are many other charities and groups focusing directly on preventing knife crime – but evidence from the World Health Organization suggests that interventions that adopt a public health, rather than a criminal justice approach, are being shown to be more effective in the long term.
By highlighting the death and significant injury associated with violent crime, we help to discourage these young people from carrying weapons in the first place, as well as giving them the information they need to help them to dissuade their peers. By equipping these young people with practical skills we also increase their confidence and aspirations, helping them to change their attitude towards violence.

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Aren’t you just saving the lives of criminals?

Every life counts. Many young people have intelligence, ability and potential, but circumstances mean that they have become rooted in violence. By highlighting the death and significant injury associated with violent crime, we help to discourage these young people from carrying weapons in the first place, as well as giving them the information they need to help them to dissuade their peers. By equipping these young people with practical skills we also increase their confidence and aspirations, helping them to change their attitude towards violence.

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Aren’t you just giving young offenders the impression that it’s okay to stab people?

Many young people assume it’s okay to stab someone in the leg or arm, or that the only outcomes of a stabbing are that the victim lives or dies. By explaining that the result might actually be spending the rest of your life in a wheelchair we change their perception. That can and does help to discourage these young people from carrying weapons in the first place, as well as giving them the information they need to help them to dissuade their peers.

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Won’t teaching young people what to do discourage them from calling ambulances?

Calling an ambulance is the first thing we teach. Just two simple steps can save a life:
Dial 999 and ask for an ambulance – Apply pressure to the wound. We explain how important it is to get professional help quickly.

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Do you think First Aid should be taught to everyone?

Yes. We advocate First Aid being added to the National Curriculum.

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How are you changing lives?

By highlighting the death and significant injury associated with violent crime, we help to discourage these young people from carrying weapons in the first place, as well as giving them the information they need to help them to dissuade their peers. By equipping these young people with practical skills we also increase their confidence and aspirations, helping them to change their attitude towards violence.

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