Preventing violence: Fear & Fashion
Our Fear & Fashion project aims to reduce knife crime, in partnership with Westminster City Council’s Youth Service. Youth-led workshops use drama, discussion and games to explore weapon use and are run by young people who have direct experience of knife crime. Participants report feeling more confident in their ability to stop small conflicts escalating, and more confident in their own ability to run similar workshops. Many, inspired by a taste of their potential to help others, have gone on to use their new skills for new careers, including as youth workers.
The programme has been applauded by Eastenders Actress Brooke Kinsella, who lost her brother to knife crime, in her recent report ‘Tackling Knife Crime Together’.
Building bridges: Peerlink
Peerlink is Leap’s national network for young people involved in conflict resolution and mediation, and is the only one of its kind in the UK. Every year Peerlink runs events, conferences, awards ceremonies and residential courses bringing members together for workshops, training and ideas. The network keeps growing, and now has more than 1,500 members aged 11 to 21 from all across the UK, as well as 100 adults who work with young people.
In June 2010, BBC journalist and Panorama presenter Jane Corbin presented the Annual Peerlink Awards, hosted by BT PLC, to young people and trainers who have made outstanding contributions to conflict resolution, saying “I often report on violence and conflict that is taking place across the world. The young people here today have shown what can be done by tackling conflict in a constructive way before it escalates”.
Giving hope: Our work with gangs
Leap’s Gangs programme has been working with young people in communities affected by gang violence since 2000, with a firm focus on the choices and consequences of being involved in gang activity. We work with gangs to explore their internal dynamics and their relationship with rival groups.
In 2010 we launched pioneering work with young women involved in gangs, and tested new materials in Bristol, Manchester and Medway.
To date, we have worked directly with over 1,000 young people who identify themselves as involved in gangs, and have trained over 1,000 adults to work with gangs. In 2010 we delivered 29 days of bespoke training programmes for gangs in Glasgow, Liverpool, Enfield, Oldham, Medway and Hounslow.
The Community Initiative to Reduce Violence (CIRV), for example, commissioned Leap to provide training for the Strathclyde Police and its partners to work with gangs and reduce violence. As a result, violent crime by young gang members in the East End of Glasgow has been almost halved in one year.
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