Our work has a variety of forms from commissioning interventions within the classroom to facilitating and rolling out peer to peer mentoring designed to reduce violence.
For resources designed to help people working with children and families to deal with the adversity, trauma and loss that many have experienced over the last few months due to COVID 19, view them here.
Mentors In Violence Protection
Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) is a programme designed to help young people speak out against bullying, violence and abusive behaviour. MVP improves the culture inside any organisation or community. It was once a programme which operated inside schools and enabled pupils to identify and challenge negative behaviour, encouraging them to influence others and resolve conflict. However, we are now launching MVP across a broader range of settings, including primary schools, colleges, and youth, sports and faith settings. These programmes have been co-produced and developed by sector leads; University of Birmingham; Further Education Safety Partnership Group; Positive Youth Foundation; Association of Muslim Schools and The James Brindley Foundation.
MVP works because young people become the trainers and influencers. No longer are teachers the only ones who manage negative behaviour. With MVP it is the pupils themselves who play just as big a part and ensure good behaviour exists within their school and local community. The programme helps reduce the number of temporary and permanent school exclusions by providing young people with leadership skills and challenging unacceptable behaviours.
The VRU has coordinators in place to work with teachers to embed MVP within their schools. Mentors in Violence Prevention helps schools meet the requirements laid out by the Department for Education and OFSTED to keep children safe, develop their personal wellbeing and equip them with the broad range of skills needed in adult life.
If you would like to find out more then please email the VRU at VRU@west-midlands.pnn.police.uk
For people who are members of the West Midlands MVP community, log into the secure MVP portal here, where you will find resources, chat forums and picture and video galleries.
School Based Interventions
The West Midlands Violence Reduction Unit works with schools and other educational institutions to support, engage and protect their children and young people. We commission grass roots organisations to deliver interventions that aim to reduce violence in schools. We also deliver a range of training to enhance the knowledge of those who work within education.
During the 2019/20 academic year the VRU engaged with 156 secondary schools. In 96 of those, it put in place a number of evidence based interventions. These were all based on the need within the school. These projects include different levels and types of intervention depending upon the level of risk with the young person.
- One-to-one mentoring with vulnerable young people already involved in serious violence.
- Small group projects targeted at vulnerable young people who are at risk of being drawn into violence.
- Large group work with pupils who are thought to be on the periphery of violence.
- Whole school work aimed at raising awareness of violence and its effects
There was also a range of training delivered to help better equip teachers and parents with the skills needed to address violence and its causes. These included:
- Mental health and mindfulness training which equipped participants with the skills to take care of their own mental health as well as techniques they can use with their students.
- Training to help teachers better identify and understand the exploitation and risks faced by vulnerable girls.
- Training for teachers to help them keep pupils caught up in gangs and violence safe. Contextual Safeguarding is becoming increasingly important to schools.
- Online Safety Workshops which enable primary and secondary schools, teachers and parents to work together to keep young people safe online
- Training which enhances a school’s ability to write bids for funding which can be used to support targeted interventions within their school.