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£300K for mentoring scheme to reduce youth offending

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The charity St Christopher’s, working in partnership with Barnet Council, has become one of the first organisations in the country to successfully bid for a grant from the Home Office’s £200million Youth Endowment Fund.

Picture of two people walking down a street

Picture of two people walking down a street

The successful bid for £318,000 of funding will enable the charity to mentor young people aged 10-14 whose siblings are known to the youth justice system.

The two-year project will work with young people over an 8-10 week period. However, if a young person wishes to stay in ad-hoc contact afterwards then St Christopher’s will enable this to happen so that they have a trusted adult to talk to. The aim is for young people to feel valued and better able to identify the risks involved in offending, which will reduce local youth offending overall.

Studies have shown that for each member of a family that offends, the chances of the others offending increases. Offending, gang activity and child criminal exploitation is more likely for children whose siblings are in the criminal justice system.

Younger siblings often miss out on statutory interventions aimed at addressing their older sibling’s offending, so the charity’s project is designed to meet this need.

The Youth Endowment Fund is dedicated to building the evidence base to determine what works and support improved outcomes for children and young people. Each project will be evaluated to build and share knowledge of the types of interventions which are most effective at preventing young people from being drawn into crime and violence.

This new project builds on St Christopher’s expertise in supporting young people involved in county lines, gangs or youth violence through its Trusted Spaces and Runaways services. The charity’s model is based on building genuine relationships with young people to grow their self-confidence and help them reach their full potential.

Jonathan Whalley, Chief Executive of St Christopher’s, said: “I am delighted to be developing this service for a group of young people that are often overlooked by existing services. Building on our partnership with Barnet Council will help us to create brighter futures for more children and young people.”

Sir Kevan Collins, Chair of the Youth Endowment Fund said: “The safety and well being of young people is our first priority. Our first round of grants is the start of a 10 year programme of work designed to build a better understanding of what works to prevent young people being drawn into crime and violence.”

Councillor David Longstaff, Chairman of Barnet Council’s Children, Education and Safeguarding Committee, said: “I’m very pleased that our partnership with St Christopher’s has resulted in a successful bid for a substantial sum of money to help improve the lives of some of our most vulnerable young people. Their safety and well being is of paramount importance to us and the work of St Christopher’s aims to support younger siblings of young people involved in offending to break that cycle and instead to reach their full potential in life.”

For more information on St Christopher's visit: www.stchris.org.uk

More information on the Youth Endowment Fund can be online

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