Skip to main content
My Account

Trained youth workers, placed in some of the region’s A&E units, have helped thousands of children and young people to keep themselves safe from violence.

The specialists have been located at Accident and Emergency units across Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley and Wolverhampton providing support to children and young people admitted with violence related injuries; some of which are life threatening.

At this point, the youth workers aim to guide children and young people out of violent situations when they are potentially at their most vulnerable. They provide one-to-one support, mentoring, and other practical help based on what the child or young person needs. This is followed up by the offer of continued support, including for their families.

The project has supported 388 young people in Coventry and Wolverhampton, 466 in Dudley and a further 1,622 in Birmingham. These children and young people were admitted with injuries relating to assault, sexual violence, domestic abuse, mental health related violence, vehicle related injuries, to name just a few. The youngest child supported was just 9 years of age.

These projects have been funded by the West Midlands Violence Reduction Partnership (WMVRP) and Community Safety Partnerships since 2019, the year the VRP launched. It is delivered by St Giles in Coventry, Dudley and Wolverhampton and by Redthread in Birmingham.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster, said: “Many young people will not go to the police after being involved in violence, but are likely to go to the hospital. This is a key moment, where they can access support.

“Our youth workers are there to provide bespoke support for young people when they need it most, when they are likely to be feeling incredibly isolated and vulnerable. These are key moments when, with the right support, they can be diverted away from a life of violence.”

Fiona Slym, West Midlands Community Delivery Manager at St Giles Trust, said: “It is always tragic to see young people admitted to hospital because of violent incidents and at this point of crisis we need to be there by their side to support and intervene.

“Our caseworkers have direct experience of the situations the young people are in, which make them credible and able to understand what the young patients are going through. 

“We are pleased to be working in partnership with the West Midlands VRP and hospitals to reduce serious violence and protect children and young people.”

Johanna Fitzsimmons, Head of Services at Redthread said: “Our work in the West Midlands not only allows us to meet children and young people at the crisis moment when they come to hospital, but allows us to then continue to support them in the community by connecting them to other WMVRP funded projects like mentoring, education, sports programmes or for therapeutic support.

“By scaffolding services around a child to offer long term and life changing support, we reduce the risk that they will come back to hospital with any other violence related injuries.”

The WM VRP is a multi-agency unit that includes local authorities, education, health, youth, faith and community groups as well as the police, and was launched in late 2019 to help organisations work together effectively to tackle the root causes of violence. 

Get in touch
Contact us
The VRP is always interested in exploring possible links and opportunities to work with others. Contact us to find out more or even just say hello…
Contact us