StreetGames worked with the Peer Action Collective to empower young people in the East Midlands to lead change and tackle violence in their local communities.
The Peer Action Collective is a £5.2 million programme which aims to give young people the chance to make their communities safer, fairer places to live. It is funded by the Youth Endowment Fund, the #iwill Fund and the Co-op Group.
Experiencing serious violence can be life altering for children and young people, their families, and communities. Preventing children and young people becoming involved in violence involves understanding their experiences and building evidence about what works, so that appropriate and effective action can be taken. However, all too often, young people who experience violence are not a part of this conversation.
The Peer Action Collective (PAC) exists to support a move towards empowering young people to be an active part of research and change. PAC is a unique opportunity to engage young people in building evidence, not just of what works, but also why things work, how they work, and for whom.
The Peer Action Collection has trained young people in peer research and supported them to create their own research questions, carry out high quality qualitative research and analyse their findings to inform the design and delivery of social action projects focused on driving change.
StreetGames were selected as the lead organisation in the East Midlands, to support the young people leading PAC locally. We worked with community organisations across Nottingham, Derbyshire and Leicester, including Freedom Foundation, St. Matthews Big Local, Parkside High and Waterfront, to recruit and train Peer Researchers to develop research plans and connect with other young people in their community, building up a picture of young people’s experiences of youth violence. We then recruited young Changemakers from across the region to come up with local solutions to the insights identified in the research process, and to implement these as social action projects.
We are proud to have supported the highest number of social action projects across all PAC delivery partners, with 19 community organisations delivering 39 youth-led projects. Young people were encouraged to apply for funding for their plans, with applications assessed by some of our Peer Researchers – ensuring the projects were truly youth-led and based on their research findings.
- Go-Getta in Leicester supported Changemakers with the professional production of music videos and rap to raise awareness of the effects of youth violence, with the aim of sharing these on social media to challenge the glorification of violence.
- With research findings highlighting a lack of safe spaces for young people to socialise in, Changemakers at Parkside High cleaned and refurbished a local run-down multi-use games area, creating a safe and attractive place for young people to participate in sport.
- Changemakers from Chesterfield FC Community Trust organised and delivered a Christmas sports event for local disabled young people, offering fun and engaging activities as well as raising awareness of harassment, bullying and social isolation.