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Alison O’Connell
Solihull Community Navigator

Since early 2000 Alison has worked tirelessly to provide opportunities for young people and families in the local neighbourhoods she is most passionat…

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 test 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.

What is the Solihull Navigator focusing on?

For more information about the place-based activity and the data and evidence that support the decisions around where the VRU is working, have a look at the Chelmsley Wood “Story Map

In Solihull we are currently developing a new pilot project designed to reduce violence. The trial will test innovative approaches to violence prevention and reduction. As in the other areas, it is hoped that this test will produce evidence that supports investment in new and effective approaches to reducing violence.

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