The Home Office has awarded Barnet Council more than £1m to help vulnerable children in the borough.
The £1.2m of funding was awarded to the council after it successfully bid for a portion of money as part of the Home Office’s Trusted Relationships Fund.
Barnet was one of 11 authorities in the country selected for the funding which is aimed at helping social workers, police, nurses and other professionals form close, protective relationships with children and young people at risk of sexual exploitation, gang crime or relationship abuse.
The funding will be used over the next four years to develop the Barnet Creative Spaces Partnership through which the council will work with several voluntary sector organisations to deliver preventative programmes in schools and engage young people at risk in creative activities that support them to move away from violent lives and exploitation.
The work of the Barnet Creative Spaces Partnership will be evaluated to help inform other future initiatives around the country.
Councillor David Longstaff, Chairman of Barnet Council’s Children, Education and Safeguarding Committee, said: “I am very pleased that Barnet is among the 11 local authorities to successfully bid for funding.
“Over the next four years, it will help us look at new creative approaches for how we go about building trust with vulnerable young people, and ultimately how we can improve the quality of their lives through things like education and employment.
“At the same time, it will provide some really valuable learning for other local authorities across the country.”
Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability, Victoria Atkins, said: “Too many young people have to tackle life in our nation’s capital without an adult figure they can rely on, leaving them at risk of being abused or exploited by gangs.
“Early intervention is vitally important if we are to tackle these injustices and give vulnerable young people the best chance in life. This is precisely what I hope these projects that give young Londoners the chance to build trust in others will achieve.”
The other local authorities to successfully bid for part of the Home Office funding were Hackney Council, Ealing Council, Hounslow Council, Rotherham Council, North Yorkshire County Council, York Council, Bradford Council, North Somerset District Council, Greater Manchester County Council, Northampton Borough Council and North East Lincolnshire Council.