StreetDoctors in a new partnership to tackle youth violence in London
As a social movement of student medics and trainee healthcare professionals StreetDoctors has long been an advocate for adopting a public health approach to tackling youth violence. Our teams of young volunteers across the UK are committed to giving young people most at risk of violence the skills and confidence they need to help in a medical emergency. By learning about the fragility of the human body young people join the dots between carrying a knife and the chance of them or someone they know sustaining a life changing injury. As well as leaving our sessions with emergency first aid skills and a new understanding of the medical consequences of violence 86% of them leave sessions willing to act to help others in a medical emergency. StreetDoctors believes that by treating young people with respect and dignity and equipping them with essential skills we can support them to become the lifesavers in their community, so that they can educate and influence others towards more positive choices.
Yeah, it’s given me self-confidence. I wouldn’t have been confident before. I wouldn’t know anything. I’d just stand there and freeze. After this if I see someone on the road unconscious or conscious but needs help, I feel like I could apply everything I’ve learnt towards them and help them. I’ve taught my little brother, yeah, I’ve used him as a little crash dummy. I’ve taught my mum as well.Young participant who had been a victim of a stabbing
Which is why StreetDoctors wholeheartedly welcomes the interim report and recommendations from the Youth Violence Commission that were published last week. As well as drawing on a series of evidence sessions featuring academics and experts from across the health, criminal justice, education, third and youth sectors their findings are strongly informed by the views of young people with lived experience of violence. Crucially their recommendations include the development of a national Public Health Model and a long term ten year strategy to address the issue. They also promote the idea of closer collaboration across sectors including between funders, charities and grass roots organisations.
StreetDoctors already collaborates with over 140 partners across the UK. Our own findings from delivering in 16 cities across the UK reveal that the reasons why young people get caught up in violence and carry and use weapons are complex and that no one organisation can solve this issue on its own. To this end, StreetDoctors teams work alongside other agencies and organisations offering something that uniquely complements existing programmes rather than replicating interventions others are better placed to deliver.
We are therefore particularly delighted to announce a new partnership project with two other youth charities, Khulisa and RedThread, and an innovative and forward thinking funder, Better Communities, Business Network. BCBN have brought our three charities together in a new initiative to tackle youth violence in London. We are really grateful to BCBN for supporting our work and proud to be partnering with two such amazing charities dedicated to making a difference to young people’s lives.
BCBN is hosting a fundraising gala dinner on 10th September with guest speaker Right Honorary Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party. Proceeds from the event will support the work of the three charities with young people in schools, hospitals and in communities across London supporting young Londoners to lead safer, healthier, happier lives. For more information and how to obtain tickets please visit the website. We are excited to see how the partnership develops and where our collaboration might lead.
Keep an eye out on our website and blog for further updates!
Jo Broadwood (CEO, StreetDoctors)