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Reducing Youth Violence in Brixton
Brixton has the highest rate of violence, notably youth violence, in London. Violence is fuelled by social deprivation and fractured communities. CHIPS aims to support the Brixton community to create better living conditions and stronger community cohesion, thereby reducing youth violence.
January 2019 - December 2019
Charity information: Christian International Peace Service (CHIPS)
Brixton has the highest rates of violence in London. Youth violence is rising and only 1 in 10 cases are solved. It is fuelled by the widespread deprivation; high poverty and unemployment, high school exclusion rates, poor housing, and minimal social provision due to local authority funding cuts. Young people feel powerless, trapped and frustrated, and resort to violence. This in turn stops people going out and mixing, which in turn builds greater divides and perpetuates the cycle of violence.
CHIPS aims to break the cycle of violence. We will ask people on the 3 most deprived estates what their key frustrations are, particularly young people involved in or at risk of violence. Then we will bring different factions together over the issues that are common to both, help them identify potential solutions and empower them to work together to implement them. As factional divides are thus broken down and the frustration of social issues are solved, youth violence will decrease.
Appoint 3 paid Community Organisers and 4 Community Volunteers from across the 3 Estates
Activities» CHIPS (who are based in Brixton) will identify prospects via local networks, and interview and appoint the most suitable.
» CHIPS will provide those selected with 3 weeks of specialist training in community organising including empowerment and mobilising for change.
» CHIPS will continue to manage and coach the Community Organiser and Community Volunteers throughout the project.
What success will look like
By successfully appointing and training 3 Community Organisers and 4 Community Volunteers
Identify key frustrations amongst different factions across the 3 Estates
Activities» Identify 120 local people including young people involved in violence, at risk of violence or school exclusion, their families and violence victims.
» Our Community Organisers and Volunteers, and Citizens and London Youth, two London networks of which CHIPS are members, will help with this process.
» The Community Organisers will hold 1-to-1 meetings with those identified, encouraging them to share their frustrations and explore hope for change.
» We will connect people from different factions within an estate who share the same frustrations, so they can meet to discuss their common needs.
What success will look like
Through reports produced by Community Organisers that identify common issues; through meetings taking place between those within different factions of an estate who share issues.
Help the 3 Estates to each set up 4 groups around shared issues and start taking action
Activities» We will help form 12 motivated groups (2 adult based, 2 youth based per estate) of 6-10 people around shared issues.
» The Community Organisers will identify two leaders from within each group, and train and mentor them to mobilise their group and wider community.
» Each group will identify potential solutions to issues on their Estate and take at least one action that brings positive change.
» This will build relationships within groups across factions and increase their confidence and sense of empowerment ahead of the next stage.
What success will look like
Through successful formation of 12 groups; recruitment of at least 4 people per group; appointment of leaders; sustained attendance levels; completion of 1+ action per group.
Help the 3 Estates to start working together to implement wider social action projects
Activities» CHIPS will introduce the groups on Clapham Park Estate to groups on other Brixton social housing estates with whom we already work.
» Together, the groups will design and plan two co-produced projects to address a specific social need that the Estates have in common.
» The young people and their families will be empowered and learn new skills that they can then apply to solving future needs.
What success will look like
Successful design and implementation of 2 projects that each affect at least 2 of the Estates; Significantly improved motivation and empowerment levels among group participants.
As groups continue to meet together regularly, and gain experience of community organising (this way of working), they will continue to break down divides between factions and across geographic areas, and be in a position to identify any new issues that might lead to frustration and violence, and design and implement solutions at an early stage, before violence results. We expect to see a correlating sustained reduction in youth violence figures (government figures) for the local area.
Certain factions of the community may not engage with us, although as CHIPS staff live and work in Brixton we have built good relationships with many factions. We will minimise this risk by employing Community Organisers and appointing Community Volunteers who live on the 3 Estates and have positive relationships across different community factions. Local partners may choose not to work with us because of other priorities; we will minimise this risk by operating with multiple partners.
Donors to this project will receive regular email updates on how the project is progressing including stories of those involved, and how we’re helping the community to address any issues or build on new opportunities that have arisen.
Budget - Project Cost: £46,730Loading graph....
Amount Heading Description £28,920 Staff 3 community organisers 1 day per week, share of Project Director time £2,520 Training Of 3 Community Organisers and 4 Community Volunteers £1,800 Resources Equipment and materials to aid groups £1,800 Subsistence For 4 Community Volunteers £1,440 Travel For meetings and collaboration £1,325 Memberships Of Citizens and London Youth £3,000 Seed funding For Co-run projects in Aim 4 £5,925 Core costs Office rent, utilities, insurance, admin support
Current Funding / Pledges
Source Amount Major Donor £12,000 Guaranteed Regular Gifts £3,000 Guaranteed Trust One £10,000 Conditional Trust Two £7,000 Conditional
Angell Town, Loughborough and Clapham Park are social housing estates based mainly in the Coldharbour Ward in Brixton, South London. The Ward is in the 4% most deprived in the UK with the highest rates of child poverty and lone parenthood. The population is dense - up to 176 people per hectare compared with 52 across London as a whole. Violence is the highest in London, and serious youth violence is rising. The average age is 32 and the majority of residents are Black and Ethnic Minority.
60 young people at risk of violence or school exclusion, involved in violence or at risk of violence
36 adults - families of the young people, or those at risk or who are victims of their violence.
The residents of Angell Town, Loughborough and Clapham Park Estates (3,625 households)
Indirect beneficiaries: and the wider population of Coldharbour Ward in Brixton - 17,380 people in total.
CHIPS has run successful peacebuilding projects in London and around the world for fifty years, and know that lasting peace can only be built from within a community, and only when that community wants it. We have been invited by Brixton people to help them build peace, and consequently our staff are living and working on one of Brixton’s most deprived social housing estates in order to understand the complex issues and build relationships.
Read more about the Charity running this project.
Project Director: An experienced community worker , Paul has founded pioneering peacemaking projects in Ghana & Brixton and lives in Brixton.
Volunteer assistant to Paul: has worked in peacemaking, mediation and interfaith work in London and around the world for 5 years. Lives in Brixton.