In 2017 46 young people under the age of 25 were fatally stabbed in London, while admissions to hospital due to knife assault wounds increased by 21 per cent. As a result, fear and the impact of trauma spreads among whole communities and is a huge financial burden on society. Exposure in adolescence leads to a greater likelihood of being further involved either as victim or perpetrator, and is associated with an increased risk of mental health problems.
Redthread’s youth violence intervention programme embeds specialist youth workers in the emergency departments of major trauma centres. They meet young victims of violence or exploitation within the “teachable moment” – when they are at their most vulnerable after falling victim to violence – and empower them to pursue positive changes within their lives.
A comprehensive risk assessment is completed with each young person, which asks them and their youth worker to rate risk levels across multiple areas of their lives. The scores form the basis of an action plan.
In 2017 over 1,000 young people were referred to Redthread services. Over 60 per cent engaged with a Redthread youth worker. One-third were signposted to health and/or mental health services and one quarter were referred. Almost 80 per cent did not reattend hospital for any reason within a year. Of those who did only 12 per cent did so for violence-related injuries.
The charity’s model is so compelling that in London the mayor’s office is keen to expand it to all major trauma centres, and the charity is now fundraising to spread it further, across the whole of England.
CC reg no: 1051260