Our community navigators will soon be in post. In the meantime you can reach the VRU by emailing us on firstname.lastname@example.org…
Our community navigators will soon be in post. In the meantime you can reach the VRU by emailing us on email@example.com
What does a Community Navigator do?
Community Navigators are the VRU’s ‘people on the ground’. It is their job to work with communities, partners and stakeholders to reduce violence. We have seven navigators in total, one in each local authority area. They help co-ordinate the violence reduction effort in local neighbourhoods. They also help introduce new interventions, designed to prevent and reduce violence.
Part of their role is to help communities access support and address issues that are causing violence. They encourage people to adopt tried and tested methods which are proven to reduce violence. They empower communities to become involved in the work of the VRU and develop relationships that lead to joint decision making. The navigators also play a vital role in supporting local voluntary sector organisations with funding and developing opportunities.
Across the West Midlands the VRU has trialled a number of violence prevention initiatives in specific places. The aim is to test what works. These schemes are running in small areas, with populations of around 20,000 people and it is the navigators who are going to be managing these projects on a day to day basis.
Youth Services Focused Pilot in Lozells
The pilot in Lozells is focused on connecting existing youth provision to a range of services locally.
The following interventions have all been put in place in Lozells:
- Detached and outreach youth work.
- Public space made as safe as possible.
- A 10 week intensive project working with vulnerable young people.
- Trauma informed workshop sessions (1 per month) for young people and families delivered from the Lighthouse to build resilience and raise awareness of the impact of trauma.
- 3 new music and recording sessions per week at the Lighthouse and the launch of a new Basketball Project that will provide additional diversionary activities each week, focusing on late evenings to provide alternatives for young people.
The Lighthouse to deliver a Lozells ‘Says No to Violence’ event for the community, providing an opportunity to listen to the concerns of local residents, and bring them into the youth service. This will be co-produced with local young people.
- Enhanced local partnerships.
- Increased accessibility to youth services for young people
- Safer public spaces in the area
- Legacy of trainers and mentors trained in trauma informed approaches to continue to support future generations embedding the approach in Lozells.
- Increase in young people, families and the community engaging with youth services.
The Lozells pilot will be developed and extended this year, building on the positive outcomes from last year’s activity and building engagement with the community so they can become more involved with making decisions about their area.
Supporting the Community in Three Estates, Kings Norton
The pilot in Three Estates is focused on supporting the whole community by providing a range of interventions and activities designed to reduce the risk of violence. The pilot project has:
- Established increased youth provision locally providing more opportunities for young people to engage in positive activities, working in tandem with parents and families where possible.
- Provided detached youth work, supporting more young people to engage with youth workers by working on the streets delivering activities and support
- By working in public spaces in the area the project aims to make public spaces safer to use.
- Local events and campaigns have been delivered to bring the community together.
- Community awareness of the impact of trauma will increase.
- More young people will engage with youth services.
- More parents and carers will engage with local support services.
- Community events will be provided that will get residents involved with the project.
- Partnerships will be developed in the area, promoting new ways of communicating and responding to needs, maximising opportunities and ensuring duplication does not take place.
- New partners will become involved in the pilot bringing a range of skills, experience and resources that will benefit the community.
The pilot will be developed and extended this year, building on the positive outcomes from last year’s activity and building engagement with the community so they can become more involved with making decisions about their area.