Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit commissions community sport-based intervention projects through sport partner StreetGames

  • Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) has provided £300,000 of investment for community sport through the Greater Manchester Violence Prevention Fund.
  • StreetGames are the VRU’s strategic sports partner and are responsible for commissioning organisations that can deliver against the VRU’s strategic sports plan.

The £300,000 investment will use community sport-based interventions to enhance positive outcomes for young people at risk of violence aged 10-25.

Eight organisations from across Greater Manchester have been commissioned, each receiving between £24,000 – £45,000: Abraham Moss Warriors, Bolton Lads and Girls Club, Bury Defence Academy, City in the Community, Stride UK, Wythenshawe Community Housing Group, Water Adventure Centre and Your Trust Rochdale.

Each will take a bespoke approach to the local area they are working in and the group of young people they are working with to ensure sustainability. Young people will have the opportunity to engage in sport, mentoring, leadership and volunteering based activities.

The funding will support vulnerable children and young people through addressing one or more of the Greater Manchester VRU strategic sport plan visions;

  • more sport in more places
  • more workforce with more competencies
  • more vulnerable children and young people referred and engaged

Kate Green, Deputy Mayor for policing, crime, criminal justice, and fire, said: “Providing young people with opportunities to engage is positive activity is an effective way of preventing involvement with crime and violence. Sport is widely recognised as having a role in prevention and early intervention work with young people at risk of offending behaviour as it can help them to feel good about themselves, make positive choices and decisions, feel positively about their futures, and feel part of their community.

“Through the Violence Reduction Unit’s partnership with StreetGames we have already provided sport opportunities and interventions that enhance the quality of provision, shape future thinking and drive system sector change in Greater Manchester. The additional sport-based interventions we have funded will allow more vulnerable young people to access positive activities and receive the support they need.”

Mark Lawrie, CEO of StreetGames, said: “This investment will make a real difference in the lives of young people across Greater Manchester, supporting local community sports organisations to deliver tailored support for hundreds of young people.

“We know that sport, delivered in the right way by the right people, can make a huge difference to young lives, not just in terms of mental and physical wellbeing but by providing support and mentoring for vulnerable young people who may be at risk of violence and exploitation.

“By giving young people more opportunities to take part in positive activity, these programmes are helping to keep communities safer and improve young lives through sport.”

Danny Schofield, Head of Play, Youth and Sport at Bolton Lads and Girls Club, said: “The Greater Manchester Violence Prevention Fund makes an amazing difference and is exactly what is needed. It helps us work together with vulnerable young people who need more support to develop their confidence, communication, and other skills.

“We see that sport is a really powerful way for many young people to start engaging and leads to many other opportunities and support that comes through taking part in sport and building trusted, consistent, positive relationships with coaches and youth work teams. More people are now seeing how powerful sport can be as an engagement and intervention tool and that’s fantastic for young people.”

Delivery has now started and will continue until March 2025.

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