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Sport, physical activity, music, arts and youth work reach tens of thousands of young people across the West Midlands each year. We recognise the important role these activities can play in reducing and preventing violence. For many young people taking part helps them feel safer, more connected to their communities and more confident.

As a result, the West Midlands Violence Reduction Unit is committed to using sport and positive activities to intervene in the lives of young people and to help them live safe and prosperous lives.

The West Midlands Violence Reduction Unit has commissioned StreetGames UK, a national sport and anti-poverty charity, to deliver interventions which reduce the risk and likelihood of young people being affected by violence.

In 2020/21, the West Midlands Violence Reduction Unit will:

  1. Develop operational and strategic partnerships to influence policy, practice and systems change
  2. Commission evidence-based activity which promotes the development of protective factors through delivery and engagement
  3. Develop, and connect with, community sport providers who can effectively divert young people away from violence
  4. Extend the existing evidence-base for sport as a violence reduction intervention
  5. Co-produce policies which influence future delivery and collaboration
  6. Ensure sport and positive activities are seen as a cross-cutting intervention across VRU delivery

Sport & Physical Activity

The West Midlands Violence Reduction Unit works closely with community sport providers, from across the West Midlands, who use sport to reduce and prevent violence by building strong communities.

Sport offers young people more than the opportunity to be physically active. It provides them with the chance to meet new friends and peers, learn from trusted adults and role models, gain skills and qualifications, volunteer and lead.

It is important that all young people living in the West Midlands can access and benefit from high quality sport in their community. Through local and regional partnerships we will work hard to ensure that barriers such as accessibility and availability are limited in the future. 

Sports & Youth Mentoring

The West Midlands Violence Reduction Unit are working to upskill sports coaches and volunteers to become trained mentors. The aim is provide those who work closely with young people a framework to support and develop young people in their own communities.  

West Midlands Violence Reduction & Sport Strategic Partnership Board

In March 2020, the West Midlands Violence Reduction and Sport Strategic Partnership Board was established. The Strategic Partnership Board sets out to…

“ensure there is an effective, consistent, and collaborative approach to designing, implementing, evaluating, scaling and embedding sport and physical activity interventions as part of the West Midlands VRU strategy.”

This strategy focuses on building protective factors, pro-social behaviours and resilience to prevent and protect young people and communities at risk of or associated to violence.

The Strategic Partnership Board meets every other month and has membership from:  

  • Active Partnerships
  • Alliance of Sport for Criminal Justice
  • Local Authorities – Community Safety Partnerships, Youth Justice Services and Public Health
  • Professional Football Foundations
  • Public Health England – West Midlands
  • StreetGames UK
  • UK Active
  • West Midlands Combined Authority
  • West Midlands Police
  • West Midlands VRU

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