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The Voice of London

It was different from the other services I worked with because I didn’t get judged. Without Safer London my life would most definitely have been different.

Trey, South London

A Message from our Chief Executive

The future is uncertain as we navigate through these unprecedented times. However, we will ensure the following remains central to Safer London’s work – which is the vision of a city that is safe for all the young Londoners who live here.

Sherry Peck, Chief Executive

When I was working with my support worker, before that I didn’t even know little things like saying sorry. I genuinely didn’t understand. With my support worker we spoke and I started to understand different things. It made me a different person.

Young Londoner

PEOPLE: OUR WORK WITH YOUNG LONDONERS AND THEIR FAMILIES

The impact of our one to one support

We are renowned for building strong trusting relationships with the young Londoners and families we work alongside. We listen to them and gain insight into their world, which allows us to understand what they need and how to keep them safe.

As a result of this relational support:

  • 81 % of the young Londoners and families we worked with reported having more self-worth and improved mental health and wellbeing
  • 87% of the young Londoners and families had an increased understanding of Healthy relationships
  • 93% of the young Londoners and families we worked with felt safer than when they first started working with us
I feel I can speak with my family worker, she listens, and I never feel judged. I feel safe with her. At times I honestly feel she is my lifeline.

Parent

Supporting young Londoners to break free from the cycle of County Lines

With an estimated 4000 young Londoners, some as young as ten, being exploited through County Lines drug trafficking activity – the work of our Rescue & Response team is needed more than ever.

Delivered in partnership with Abianda and St Giles Trust, the project’s success has been recognised with continued funding for another year up until March 2021.

I gave him a bit of myself, a lot of the time

At Safer London we pride ourselves on building strong trusting relationships. It’s through these relationships that we achieve the greatest impact. Young Londoners often tell us that they don’t trust professionals. We aim to break down those barriers, forming bonds by letting them know we are there for them, whilst maintaining boundaries.

This is exactly the case with Safer London Housing and Support worker Jason, who worked with a young Londoner affected by County Lines.

What we've learnt and what we want to do next

  1. Combining our exploitation and violence based one to one models into one new service model will consolidate and strengthen our one to one work.
  2. Take the next steps towards becoming a fully trauma responsive organisation.
  3. Developing one ‘front door’ for referrals into any of our services will help ensure young Londoners get all of the services they need.
Having a support worker was really vital. I feel like it changed me. Before them I didn’t have anyone to talk to. Sometimes you can’t speak to your friends about certain things, they were the right person to speak to.

Young Londoner

PEERS: OUR WORK WITH YOUNG LONDONERS AND THEIR PEERS

Our targeted group programmes

The impact of this group delivery raises awareness, as well as provides a safe space for young Londoners to talk about issues affecting them and their peers. This preventative approach provides early intervention through education and also highlights where to go for help if needed.

Thanks for helping me and my mum with my anxiety and health. You have helped me to learn and grow

Young Londoner

Our Bystander approach

We partnered with Graham Goulden at Cultivating Minds UK to develop our programme. Themes covered in sessions included building healthy relationships; risk and consequence, how to manage peer pressure; managing emotions; staying safe in life and on social media; and identifying trustworthy people.

The aim was to prepare and equip them with the skills, knowledge and confidence for their transition in to secondary school and to make positive contributions with their peers and community.

Over the course of six weeks we delivered 264 workshops to years 5 and 6 pupils in four primary schools. Most importantly this work resulted in 37 referrals to provide one-to-one mentoring.

By the close of intervention those receiving one to one mentoring reported:

  • 100% improvement in their coping strategies and relationships
  • 86% increase in health and wellbeing
  • 79% felt their education had improved
  • 76% increase in their safety

What we've learnt and what we want to do next

  1. We need to diversify how we deliver our education work.
  2. We need to increase the voice and influence that young Londoners have in how Safer London delivers its services.
  3. We need to evaluate the delivery of peer based intervention work in communities, in addition to established settings such as schools
My daughter doesn’t take to people easily but she absolutely loves talking to you... from the bottom of my heart THANK YOU

Parent

PLACES: OUR WORK WITH HOUSING AND COMMUNITIES

We supported 28 young Londoners to move to safety through our one to one housing advocacy work

It is often the case that a young Londoner’s safety is greatly impacted by the area in which they live.

At Safer London we have a specialist Housing Advocacy Officer who works alongside young Londoners, raising awareness of their housing options and assisting them with applications for both social and private accommodation.

I met Safer London’s Housing Officer. He worked with me and helped me a lot. We went through hours of council meetings and applications. He helped me into my hostel flat and we successfully got a grant, which I doubt I would have received without his help.

Young Londoner

Established a 'Community of Practice’ to enable voluntary and community sector organisations to protect the young Londoners living in their communities.

In collaboration with Dr Carlene Firmin and Prof David Shemmings, Safer London worked to set up a ‘Community of Practice’ network.

The practice network involves a team of practitioners and community leaders from a variety of voluntary and grassroots organisations, coming together to build understanding and support the integration of creative and responsive contextual and trauma-aware interventions into everyday service delivery.

Although still in its infancy, this group will nurture and develop a team of skilled ‘Champions’, whose aim is to integrate contextual safeguarding and trauma-informed practices into their services for young Londoners, families or communities affected by violence and exploitation.

A professional, compassionate team, who go above and beyond to ensure that young people are treated with respect and dignity, and that wider partners are steered towards using appropriate language with regards to young people.

Partnership Coordinator Rescue and Response County Lines Project, Brent Council

The Pan-London Housing Reciprocal

Expanded the reach and influence of the Pan-London Housing Reciprocal

In the third year of the Pan London Housing Reciprocal the team helped 34 households, with a total of 76 adults and children move to safety.

We worked with landlords to find innovative solutions to the lack of social housing properties in London. Building on existing relationships we continued to work with specialist organisations across London to improve access to the Pan London Housing Reciprocal for people experiencing barriers to safe housing. This includes care leavers, female offenders and people identifying as LGBTQ+.

Drawing on our learnings from Operating the Pan-London Housing Reciprocal, we worked with partners to pilot similar schemes based on local demand.

Working with a range of partners we helped to set up two reciprocal schemes in Cambridgeshire and Stockton-On-Tees. This was part of the Whole Housing Approach to Domestic Abuse pilot project.

We also contributed to the Whole Housing Toolkit which provides guidance on how to support people affected by domestic abuse.

Finding a suitable property so fast, had a massive impact on her life. She now has her own place to call home, in a safe area where she can make a new beginning and focus on her healing and recovery.

Eftychia Moustaka, Housing First Westminster Project Worker

Eftychia Moustaka, Housing First Westminster Project Worker at Solace Women’s Aid, talks about how one of her clients was able to move to safety and start her journey to recovery via the Pan London Housing Reciprocal.

What we've learnt and what we want to do next

  1. We need to further explore building processes to respond to referrals about risk of harm based on places and spaces.
  2. Build our knowledge and capacity to support retainment and resettlement for Londoners affected by violence and abuse.
I think there are so many people that are victims of violence in London that would be relieved to know about the Safer London Housing Reciprocal Scheme. Safer London has the potential to safely rehouse so many people without the risk of losing their tenancy.

Pan-London Housing Reciprocal Applicant

Working in partnership

We know that only by working with partners and organisations across the city can we hope to achieve our vision.

In 2019/2020 we embarked on a year long partnership with the Damilola Taylor Trust and Rio Ferdinand Foundation, as well as many other youth led organisations, on a campaign that recognises the ambition and aspiration of children and young people in London and beyond.

Safer London was an integral part of the Hope 2020 Campaign launch, held on the 19th Anniversary of Damilola Taylor’s tragic death.

Going forward we want to work more cohesively across the sector, as well as engage more with corporate organisations in London, who can help support our work with young Londoners – but also provide them with opportunities to develop and progress

We chose to support and work with Safer London as their vision of a city that is safe for the young Londoners who live here resonated with our people.

Simon Piesse, Executive and Sponsor for London Philanthropy North Highland

We know we still have a long way to go.

Too many young Londoners are still living lives where violence and exploitation is a regular occurrence.

The issues in London are complex, and will take collaboration across sectors and many years to resolve. Until that time we will be here for the young Londoners, families and communities who need us.

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Safer London
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