London Youth Now

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A policy, awareness raising and training project which seeks to ensure that young people and organisations working with them can tackle hate crime and promote community cohesion.

Background

In 2008 IARS launched the Young People's Hate Crime Project; a youth-led research project which aimed to explore the causes of race hate incidents in three British cities - Bradford, Liverpool and London - and the potential for restorative justice to be used to remedy such incidents. Findings revealed that race hate manifests differently according to the demographics of specific areas but is generally targeted at new comers; particularly refugees and asylum seekers and newly arrived Eastern Europeans. It was also revealed that the majority of young people responded positively to the suggestion that restorative justice could be used to address racial hatred, both within the criminal justice system as well as in the school environment.

It is on the back of these findings that "London Youth Now" has been launched. With funding from the Big Lottery Fund, IARS is moving the Young People's Hate Crime Project into a new phase of project delivery.

Project aims

This project will deliver the opportunity to 250 young people to gain skills to become Young Champions in their neighbourhoods and influence policy and practices affecting them. Through research, campaigning and events the project will enable young people to work with 500 organisations that provide services to young Londoners relating to community cohesion and hate crime.

 

Current activities

To be added

Project updates, publications and resources archive

February 2011 updates

A consultation response to the Government's Green Paper 'Breaking the Cycle' is being written with the support of London Youth Now volunteers. The perspectives of young Londoners on how to prevent persistent offending amongst young people and effective forms of punishment are being collated to feed into IARS' youth-led response to this Green Paper. Breaking the Cycle sets out the government's proposals to reduce re-offending, focussing on their concern with public protection.

February also sees the rebranding of London Youth Now's forum. The forum has been renamed the Youth Policy Response Group and will draw on the expertise of its members to actively respond to policy changes in the capital set to impact on the lives of young people.

  

January 2011 updates

The final report from the research investigation into the Young Mayors scheme is due to be published in the forthcoming edition of the Youth Voice Journal. The research explores the scheme in relation to young peoples’ democratic engagement, issues of social cohesion, the personal development of young people involved, and young people’s faith in public services as users and consumers. The report will be available from IARS’ online library from March.

 

November 2010 updates

Events: November saw an exciting opportunity for IARS' young people to meet with a panel of senior representatives from the national media. The panel included editors from the Metro and the Evening Standard and a senior reporter from the Sun who participated in a lively discussion with thirteen young people about the representation of young people in the media. Click here to read more.

 

October 2010 updates

Research: The analysis of the Young Mayors research is now underway. A snapshot from the findings so far indicate that this scheme has had enormous personal impacts upon the young people involved. Interim findings suggest that young people who have been involved in the project feel more able to connect with politics in their local area and have an improved understanding of how to change and influence things in the communities in which they live. Many of the Young Mayors themselves felt that having a local “youth voice” was extremely important in being able to reach out to young people within the borough to tackle things like crime and fear about youth violence.

The Youth Advisory Board are coming to the end of the fieldwork phase of their research investigation into youth violence at transport hubs. Details of progress on their research project can be found on the YAB policy update page - http://iars.org.uk/content/youth-advisory-board-updates-and-publications

 Events: The Youth Advisory Board and other IARS volunteers are preparing to participate in an important roundtable discussion with the Editor of the Metro, a senior Sun crime reporter and the Editor of the Evening Standard, exploring the negative representation of young people by the media. The event is due to take place on 3rd November.

 

September 2010 updates

September has seen the Evaluation of the Young Mayors programme move into its analysis phase. A high volume of data was collated through in-depth interviews and focus groups carried out by IARS Youth Project Officer (Alex Burch).  IARS’ new team member - Research Apprentice Joseph Folwell - has been assisting with the transcription and early stages of analysis of the data. The in-depth analysis of key findings and the establishment of important recommendations will form the focus of activities for this project over the next month. 

Events:IARS’ staff attended a major conference entitled ‘Tackling Hate Crime Head On: Working with Hate Crime Offenders and Extremism’.  The event featured presentations and workshops facilitated by academics in the field and by front line workers in areas including probation, prison services and mediation. The conference offered an important opportunity for IARS staff to actively engage in key issues around social cohesion and hate crime and to gain a first-hand insight into current policy and practice in this field. This fresh knowledge will feed directly into forthcoming editions of Young London Today newsletters. 

Research:The YAB have been undertaking a short piece of information gathering for the London Serious Youth Violence Board regarding youth violence during the period between Halloween and Fireworks Night. Young volunteers have been spending their time interviewing their peers about their perception of the problems with youth violence during this time period and their views on key messages they feel the police should be getting out to young people in order to improve the situation. Key findings highlight a significant problem with young people’s misuse of fireworks during this time. There was a consistent recommendation from young people to the police to clamp down on the sale of fireworks to under 18 years olds by implementing fines to those who do them to under age young people. They also suggest more attention from police to be focussed on the purchase of sale of fireworks to adults on behalf of young people. Furthermore, there was general concern about the age limit for the sale of fireworks being too low with a number of young people commenting that young people over the age of 18 are frequently involved in the misuse of fireworks. The research suggests that raising awareness of the danger of fireworks, potentially by using shocking images, could deter this kind of activity.

 

August 2010 update:

August has seen important developments in the evaluation of the Young Mayors Scheme which is being coordinated by London Youth Now. The fieldwork phase of this investigation is coming to a close. Over ten key stakeholders have participated in in-depth semi structured interviews with IARS staff. Stakeholders have offered an invaluable insight into their perceptions of the scheme and its importance to young people. Extensive consultation has also taken place with ex Young Mayors and current Young Mayors over the last month in the form of interviews and focus groups. The opinions and experiences of the Young Mayors themselves have been placed at the centre of this investigation from the outset. The final interviews will be completed by the end of the month when all data will be collated in preparation for analysis. 

In addition to this IARS has just recruited a number of new interns to assist with the analysis process for this project. These new interns will be getting to grips with the key issues regarding the Young Mayors scheme and will be untangling the various impacts that the scheme has had on Young Mayors as well as the community at large. The evaluation aims to explore the benefits of bringing young people into democratic processes at a local level. 

Publications:The next LYN newsletter will be going into circulation by the beginning of September. An uploaded copy of the newsletter will be available on fromt the library page shortly. 

Events:IARS is preparing to hold an event in partnership with the Prince’s Trust to highlight the important role that young people will play in building the Big Society. IARS’ Youth Advisory Group have written to Lord Wei, the government’s chief adviser on Big Society, inviting him to attend this important event for youth-led organisations. Full details will be available here in September.

 

July 2010 update:

This month has seen London Youth Now (LYN) engaging with young people across London and working in partnership with a number of other exciting youth-led projects facilitated by IARS.

Events: Six IARS interns attended the 2morro event, hosted by the Big Lottery Fund, at the British Film Institute on 12thJuly 2010. The event showcased the positive work of young people in the Capital who have developed and successfully delivered their own youth led initiatives. IARS interns had the opportunity to listen to inspiring presentations and to have first-hand interaction with young people who have established projects to improve community cohesion within their local area and beyond. IARS interns were particularly impressed by Aaron Sonson and Satwant Singh who created mobile phone app, App and Away, providing advice to young people on police stop and search procedures and enabling young people to share their experiences of stop and searches – both positive and negative. The event provided an opportunity for IARS interns to understand the different ways in which young people can contribute within their communities and has inspired them to practically develop their own ideas in order to make improvements to the areas in which they live. 

In addition to this LYN has been delivering important work with young people around community cohesion issues alongside the Young Mayors Evaluation project. IARS has facilitated a number of interviews and focus groups with ex-young mayors in four London boroughs. The interview process is enabling young people who have participated in this high profile youth engagement scheme to reflect on the contributions they have made in their local area. This process of reflection has also encouraged ex young mayors to assess the positive impact they have had on their communities and on the lives of young people within those communities. Findings from these interviews will highlight the key ways in which the Young Mayors scheme promotes community cohesion by engaging positively with young people.

 LYN is also working alongside the Youth Advisory Board (YAB) to the London Serious Youth Violence Board. With support from LYN, the YAB are exploring serious youth violence in West Croydon bus station and at Elephant and Castle bus station. The YAB attended a meeting with the Safer Transport Command in July in order to discuss and understand the key features of youth violence at these transport hubs. The outcome of this piece of youth-led research will be recommendations, from a genuine youth perspective, of how youth violence can be addressed at London transport hubs.

 

June 2010 update:

Events: IARS’ Director, Dr. Theo Gavrielides, and Senior Youth Project Officer, Rachel Cass, were invited to speak at a Capita Conference on 10th June 2010 in London. The conference, entitled ‘Tackling Gangs and Serious Youth Violence’, provided a platform for representatives from key organisations dealing with serious youth violence to share knowledge and best practice in this area. IARS presented alongside the Metropolitan Police, London Serious Youth Violence Board and Catch 22. 

Speaking on the subject of ‘youth-led models of policy and practice for tackling gangs and serious youth violence’ IARS’ presentation drew on the organisation's extensive work in youth-led policy and practice. It also focused specifically on IARS’ current activities in addressing serious youth violence using youth-led models. 

At present, IARS coordinates the Youth Advisory Board (YAB) to the London Serious Youth Violence Board. The YAB, consisting of thirteen young people, is currently undertaking a piece of youth-led research into serious youth violence between the hours of 3pm and 6pm. The research will be published in IARS’ forthcoming edition of Youth Voice. 

The presentation on 10th June also covered the following issues:

  • Defining “youth-led” policy and practice
  • Examples of youth-led policy work in this field previously carried out by IARS
  • Unpacking “gang culture”
  •  Recommendations from IARS

Publications: The first LYN Newsletter has gone into circulation. LYN newsletters aim to provide inspiration and guidance for involving young people in research and policy work surrounding community cohesion. The contents of the first newsletter includes:

  • Launch of the new London Youth Now Project
  • London Youth-led Sector Policy Forum
  • Young People's Hate Crime Project
  • Mediation and Restorative Justice in Prison Settings
  • Subscribe to Youth Voice Journal / Become a member of IARS

Download your FREE copy of the newsletter below.

 

 

Project related news:

March 2011 - Press Release: Young Londoners to lead on 99% Campaign

March 2011 - IARS Current Awareness (Updated: 21/03/11)

February 2011 - IARS responds to Breaking the Cycle Green Paper

February 2011 - Invitation to discuss National Curriculm Review with IARS

February 2011 - Met Police joins the 99% Campaign Pledge

February 2011 - New injuctions against young people

January 2011 - Youth violence at transport hubs: Preliminary results

January 2011 - Radical Sentencing Green Paper published

December 2010 - Do young people really deserve their violent reputation?

November 2010 - IARS Press Release: Young people meet the media as part of 99% campaign

October 2010 - IARS' Young People to Discuss Crime Reporting with Editors of the Metro and Evening Standard

September 2010 - IARS' young people respond to policing reform proposals

September 2010 - Tackling Hate Crime Head On: IARS Represented at Hate Crime Conference

August 2010 - Young London Today Newsletter No2

August 2010 - Home Office visits IARS to take forward Restorative Justice and Youth Justice Reform

July 2010 - Positive Action and Community Cohesion

June 2010 - IARS on Tackling Gangs & Serious Youth Violence

April 2010 - Ajla Siljak: My story