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Mayor invests in positive activities for young people this summer

  • City Hall is funding hundreds of positive activities to support thousands of young Londoners during the holidays and beyond
  • London’s Violence Reduction Unit, the first of its kind in the country, is investing £3m specifically to support communities and provide a mentoring package for young people through this summer and into new school term

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today set out a comprehensive package of measures to support communities by funding hundreds of positive activities and opportunities for young Londoners in the capital this summer.

With fears of a surge in youth violence, as restrictions are lifted across the city and schools break up for the summer holidays, Sadiq is determined to tackle violence and ensure young Londoners continue to be supported with a range of positive opportunities so they can gain confidence, have fun and stay safe.

London’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU), England’s first and set up by the Mayor, is investing £800,000 to mentor young people in Pupil Referral Units, both during the summer and into the new academic year. A further £1m of funding, through the London Community Response Fund, will deliver a programme of mentoring and support activities for 4,000 young people.

Alongside this, the London VRU has launched the Stronger Futures Programme – a targeted programme aimed at funding community-led groups across London with £1.2m of investment to support vulnerable young Londoners by providing them with opportunities and support in the hours following school and at weekends. The programme will begin next month.

The Mayor is committed to driving down violence in the capital by continuing to be both tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime. This includes supporting more than 300 projects with £70m of funding from City Hall. Overall, this work is creating positive opportunities for more than 110,000 disadvantaged young Londoners.

This summer the Mayor’s investment will provide activities for around 5,000 young people – from dance, theatre and music, to basketball, angling and horse-riding. Londoners can find activities on City Hall’s interactive Our London Map by searching for their borough or by activity. Much of this investment is targeted in the wards at higher risk of violence, and with higher levels of poverty and deprivation.  

The Mayor has worked closely with the Met Police, communities and criminal justice partners to put together a comprehensive plan in place to improve the safety of young people in the capital this summer.  This includes targeted enforcement of violent offenders, combined with support to help divert people away from crime and a programme to provide positive opportunities for young Londoners.

Today, Apple is launching a free summer programme centred around music and radio production for young Londoners lacking in opportunity in communities underrepresented in the industry. Apple Creative Studios London, delivered in partnership with City Hall, aims to enable young Londoners to “unlock their creativity” within their communities. Throughout a four-week period, the full-time programme will offer hands-on experience in professional studio settings and mentorship from renowned artists in the radio and music industries. 

This latest programme builds on the Mayor’s partnership with Apple to help young people gain the skills they need to get the jobs of tomorrow, while also ensuring they have something constructive and safe to do during the summer holidays.2

The Mayor today visited the Dream, Believe, Succeed project, delivered by Edmonton Community Partnership with funding through London’s VRU. The partnership is an alliance of 19 schools, community organisations and local young people. It provides prevention and intervention programmes to children and young people between 10 and 16 who are either at risk or involved in violence.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:

“I’m determined to tackle violence in London by continuing to be both tough on violent crime and tough on the root causes of violent crime. There will be an increased police presence this summer in the areas of London worst affected by violence, but we know we will never simply be able to arrest our way out of the problem. That’s why, working with communities across our city, we’ve created thousands of new positive opportunities for young people so they have somewhere safe to go this summer, where they can make the most of their talents.

“With lockdown restrictions now lifted and schools breaking up for the holidays, it’s more important than ever that we work together to ensure we don’t see a rise in violence over the summer months. This means supporting our young people, diverting them away from crime and giving them opportunities to thrive. 

“City Hall and London’s Violence Reduction Unit, the first of its kind in the country, is investing in hundreds of programmes – from mentoring and support for families, to sport, music and performing arts. Our city is brimming with opportunities for young Londoners this summer and beyond and I would encourage people to get involved.” 

Lib Peck, Director of London’s Violence Reduction Unit, said:

“London’s Violence Reduction is committed to putting young people at the heart of everything we do. Our focus is on supporting families and communities to make them more resilient and to provide positive opportunities to help young Londoners build confidence and to thrive.

“We know the importance of role models to young people and that’s why we’re investing in mentoring to provide support both in school, after school and during the summer holidays. I’m also pleased that we have launched a new targeted programme to provide support for young Londoners that are vulnerable to violence with series of opportunities and support in the hours following school and at weekends.

“We firmly believe that violence is preventable and not inevitable, and the VRU will continue to place our focus and investment in working with communities and being a voice and a champion for young people in London.”

Rosemary Watt-Wyness, CEO of London Youth said:

Youth clubs and positive opportunities have never been so vital for young Londoners. Having somewhere they can go this summer, where they feel safe, can learn new skills, in a youth organisation based in their local community, supported by youth workers they know and trust is critical for young people’s physical and mental wellbeing. Our member clubs have worked tirelessly over the past 18 months to keep their doors open to the city’s most vulnerable young people whilst operating within the changing guidance, providing support online where face to face activities were not possible. Keeping those supportive relationships ongoing has been a lifeline for so many.”

Trevor Blackman, Lead Partnership Manager for the Edmonton Community Partnership, said: 

“With the funding from London’s Violence Reduction Unit, we’ve created a complete wrap-around service to support young people. Everything is connected. From the parents, the schools, our mentors and community and council partnerships, young people have been provided with much-needed support.

“This isn’t about ‘sitting them down and talking to them’. This is about fun activities that they engage with. It’s about having the opportunity to not fall into violent crime.

“It’s about feeling that you belong and have the support to do what’s right. Only by working in partnership, including leadership from our partnership of 19 schools, can we make this happen. Our Dream Believe and Succeed Project is providing real engagement and real support and creating something that’s really effective during and out of school time, including the summer holidays.”

Thom Palser, Spotlight Service Manager at Poplar HARCA said:

“Thanks to City Hall funding, Spotlight, in Tower Hamlets, will be focussing our free summer programme of activities around self-care and wellbeing following a difficult year for young Londoners. Programmes have been designed to provide young people opportunities to improve their well-being and happiness through acts of self-love and kindness. Sessions include dance, theatre, music, sports and fitness, inspirational talks and meditation as well as offering ongoing youth support, counselling and mentoring in a safe environment.

“Spotlight is also pleased to partner with Apple and Reprezent to deliver the Creative Studios LDN programme, giving young artists the opportunity to write and produce their own track under the guidance of top industry professionals and artists. Plus we will be supporting the artists to release their tracks and perform live on Reprezent radio. To find out more please visit”

Notes to editors

1 You can use the Our London Map to find activities for children and young people in London and can search by postcode, town, borough, and activity.

2 The programme starts during the school holidays and partners with youth-led radio station Reprezent 107.3FM in Brixton for those aged between 18-24 and Spotlight, a creative arts youth service based in Tower Hamlets, for those aged 16-25. The programme will provide career-building mentorship, access to creative resources and professional industry skills training.

3 The Stronger Futures Programme will enable community-led groups to support vulnerable young Londoners by providing them with opportunities and support in the hours following school, as well as at weekends in some cases. It will invest £1.2m in 20 projects across London. Grants of between £50,000 and £100,000 will be awarded, with an anticipated average size of c.£65,000 to be fully spent by August 2022. This funding is designed specifically for groups and organisations in London which can demonstrate a track record of working with vulnerable young people who are either at risk or have been involved in violence.   Stronger Futures Programme 2021/22 ⋆


Youth Unity SYV

Mayor reveals driving factors behind violence affecting young people and invests in support for almost 100,000 more young Londoners

  • City Hall publishes its most detailed analysis yet which lays bare the extent of the link between violence and poverty, deprivation and unemployment
  • Latest figures show that the overall number of knife crime victims under 25 is down, with youth violence, knife crime and gun crime also falling
  • Evidence shows the pandemic has exacerbated the factors that put young people at risk of being affected by violence
  • Sadiq sets out his commitment to provide positive opportunities for young Londoners and to give them hope for a brighter future

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today announced his commitment to support almost 100,000 more young Londoners over the next year, investing in opportunities to help them thrive and to help divert them away from violence.

Today, Sadiq has published new City Hall analysis that reveals the complex factors at play in people’s lives, homes and communities that can alter the likelihood of someone taking the wrong path and getting caught up in violence. This includes deep-rooted and ingrained social and economic issues such as poverty, inequality, high unemployment, school exclusions, poor mental health and a lack of youth services.

The new research City Hall released today shows that all 10 of the boroughs with the highest rates of victims of serious violence have higher rates of child poverty than the London average. 

The analysis also shines a light on how violence is having a disproportionate impact on young Black Londoners who are significantly overrepresented, both as victims and offenders. For instance, Black teenage boys are six times more likely to be killed by violence than white boys in London. 

Delivering a major speech at The Black Prince Community Trust in Lambeth, the Mayor will highlight the worrying impact the pandemic has had on young Londoners.

Research has demonstrated the link between high rates of unemployment and levels of violence, and City Hall analysis reveals the pandemic has exacerbated the factors that put young people at risk of becoming involved in, or a victim of, violence, by pushing more young Londoners into unemployment and poverty. For example, Universal Credit claims have risen by nearly 130 per cent – with the highest increases in the top five boroughs for rates of serious youth violence.  

London also has the highest rate of youth unemployment in the country as the city has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic and the huge impact on the sectors such as hospitality.

More than a fifth of those aged 16-24 are currently unemployed, an increase of two per cent since 2019. [2] Six of 10 boroughs with the highest increases in unemployment are also in the top 10 boroughs for serious violence. [3] This is just one of the reasons that the Mayor was clear that a top priority for his second term in office would be ‘jobs, jobs, jobs’ for Londoners. Through the Mayor’s schemes he is offering every Londoner who is unemployed or earning under the London living wage the chance to enrol on a course to retrain and help them find employment.

Reducing violence and making London safer is the Mayor’s number one priority. New analysis from City Hall shows that all types of serious violence experienced by young people have fallen over the last four years. Figures show that violence was falling in London before the pandemic, and over the past year knife crime, youth violence and gun crime have come down further. [1]. The research shows that serious crimes such as knife crime resulting in injury is down 36 per cent and under-25 knife crime has reduced 48 per cent, compared to the peak in the twelve months to December 2017. But the Mayor is clear there is much more to do to stop young lives being lost to senseless violence, and to prevent violence from happening in the first place.

Speaking in south London today about the commitment to redouble efforts to reduce violence as London recovers from the pandemic, Sadiq will set out how he will continue to be both tough on crime and tough on the complex causes of crime.  This means ensuring the police have the resources they need to bear down on criminality, gangs and the drugs market, as well as the importance of investing in positive opportunities for young Londoners to give them hope for the future.

The Mayor set up London’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) – the first in England – to deliver programmes that support young Londoners through education, training and help into employment. Sadiq will today announce that over the course of the next 12 months, City Hall and the VRU will be delivering a combined package of measures that will support almost 100,000 more young Londoners.

On his pledge to empower and invest in the future of young Londoners the Mayor is expected to say:

“Every death as a result of this needless violence is an utter tragedy. It leaves lives destroyed and families grieving, it tears communities apart, fuels fear and deprives our city of so much talent.   

“The latest figures show that the overall number of knife crime victims under 25 is down by 39 per cent compared to 2019, and by 31 per cent compared to 2018.  Overall, youth violence has been going down. Knife crime has been going down. And gun crime has been going down.  The level of violence impacting young Londoners remains far too high and we clearly have a long way to go, but it’s important that we acknowledge signs of progress so that we can learn from what’s starting to work and build upon it. 

“My main message today is not one of despair, rather a message of determination that we are redoubling our efforts to reduce violence as we recover from the pandemic.

“A crucial part of the solution is always going to be supporting the police to bear down relentlessly on criminality, which I will continue to do.  But we must be both tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime. Because the truth is we know there’s a complex set of factors at play in people’s lives, homes and communities, which can alter the likelihood of someone taking the wrong path and getting involved in violence.  

“The vast majority of young Black Londoners are not involved in violence in any way. But young Black Londoners are significantly more likely to be a victim or a perpetrator of serious violence. That’s because it’s not skin colour that determines your chances of being a victim or an offender, but societal and economic factors, such as the disproportionate rates of poverty, unemployment and school exclusions that affect Black lives.

“When I highlight these conditions associated with violence, I’m not excusing criminality in any way. But any sensible society understands that it’s in our own interest to remove the conditions that allow criminality to thrive. To provide positive opportunities for young Londoners who could otherwise be vulnerable to exploitation. To proactively tackle the structural barriers and racial inequality that Black Londoners face – from housing and poverty to education and the workplace. And to give young Londoners hope for a brighter future. 

“Surely, we must all want young Londoners to feel like they have a stake in society, rather than feeling so hopeless that they’re willing to stake their lives for so little. 

“I’m pleased to announce that next year – over the course of just 12 months – we’ll be stepping up our work with a package of measures that will support almost 100,000 more young Londoners.”  

Notes to editors

The new analysis, published by the Greater London Authority’s City Intelligence Unit, looks at the driving factors behind young people becoming involved in or a victim of violence.

This reveals the link between violence and school exclusions, deprivation and poverty, including areas where people are most likely to struggle to access food. In addition, the research highlights the disproportionate impact violence is having on young Black Londoners.

Understanding the most serious violence among young people in London, Greater London Authority’s City Intelligence Unit

Key findings:

  • Young Black Londoners are disproportionately represented amongst the victims of all types of serious violence – they are three times more likely than young White Londoners to be a victim of knife crime, and five times more likely to be a victim of homicide.
  • Rates of offending for the most serious violence, knife crime and homicide were highest for those aged 15-19
  • Under 25s knife crime (non-DA) down 48% compared to its peak in the twelve months to December 2017
  • Total knife crime resulting in injury was 36% lower than the peak recorded in twelve months to November 2017
  • Gun crime was 50% below the peak recorded in twelve months to July 2017
  • Lethal barrelled gun discharges were 52% lower than the peak recorded in the twelve months to December 2018
  • Burglary was 34% below the volume recorded in the peak period of twelve months to October 2019
  • Absence rates from secondary school were also a significant factor in predicting Boroughs with the highest rates of offending relating to serious violence [1]
  • London has the highest rate of youth unemployment in the country. More than a fifth of those aged 16-24 are currently unemployed, an increase of two per cent since 2019. [2] Six of 10 boroughs with the highest increases in unemployment are also in the top 10 boroughs for serious violence. [3]
  • During the pandemic, Universal Credit claims have increased by 186 per cent in Brent and 177 per cent in Newham – two of the top five boroughs for rates of offending.[4]
  • 54,000 young people aged 16-24 in London claimed unemployed-related benefits in October 2021 – 7.3 per cent of Londoners in that age group, up from 3.8 per cent in March 2020.[5]
  • The number of food parcels given out by the Trussell Trust more than doubled in London in 2020/21 – higher than in any other part of the country. Seven of the boroughs with the largest increase were also in the top 10 for serious violence.[6]


[1] Understanding the most serious violence among young people in London, Greater London Authority’s City Intelligence Unit:

[2] ONS Labour Force Survey

[3] ONS Claimant count by sex and age

[4] Department for Work and Pensions most recent data for March-September 2021

[5] ONS Earnings and employment from Pay As You Earn Real Time Information

[6] Trussell Trust report:


Undated file photo of female students walking along a corridor. Core school spending per pupil in England will remain lower in real terms than in 2009-10 despite the Government's funding boost, an analysis suggests.
Schools serving disadvantaged communities face the "biggest challenges" as they have seen larger cuts in per pupil spending over the past decade, Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) researchers have warned. Issue date: Thursday September 2, 2021. PA Photo. See PA story EDUCATION Funding. Photo credit should read: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Schools can tackle bullying by teaching children anger management and empathy, study finds

Source: Will Hazell Education CorrespondentSeptember 2, 2021 4:34 pm(Updated 5:36 pm)

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About 800,000 children are bullied each year – but research suggests schools can do something about it

Schools can effectively tackle bullying by teaching pupils skills such as anger management, conflict resolution and empathy, research has found.  

The Early Intervention Foundation charity conducted a review of nearly 30 studies looking at bullying and antisocial behaviour.  

It found that schools could explicitly teach skills to prevent the onset of behaviour problems and to reduce the likelihood that young people will engage in aggressive behaviour or bullying.   

Getting children to practice certain positive traits helped to develop skills such as anger management, empathy, problem-solving, conflict resolution, communication and decision-making which meant they were less likely to be bullies.  

The review also found that taking a “whole-school approach” to bullying – for example by creating a supportive school environment and raising awareness of mental health – is also effective in reducing aggressive behaviour. 

Tackling bullying also had a number of other beneficial consequences for young people, including “improved psychological functioning, wellbeing and quality of life”, reductions in police contact and even reduced smoking, alcohol and drug use.   

Schools meanwhile saw reduced participation in disciplinary procedures and less truancy.   

Dr Jo Casebourne, the EIF’s chief executive, said: “Research shows bullying in the teenage years can lead to increased risk of suicide, getting in trouble with the police, anxiety disorders and a whole host of other negative outcomes.  

“We know that both bully and the bullied can be adversely affected. The upside is we know that support in schools can be effective both for the bully and the victim.”  

The research found that teachers were equally as effective as external professionals in delivering bullying prevention programmes. 

However, teachers were less effective than technology experts when it came to providing cyberbullying prevention programmes.   

In 2020, about 800,000 children in England reported that they were bullied in a given year, with 2.5 million children experiencing some form of bullying before the age of 18.  

If a young person experiences bullying during their teenage years it increases their risk of having an adult mental health problem by more 


Pupils face income loss of £46,000 due to Covid disruption

Children and young people face losing thousands of pounds in earnings during their lifetime from the impact of the pandemic on lost learning, according to new research.


The figures are based on an analysis by the Education Policy Institute, which was commissioned by the Department for Education, which warns that ‘significant’ Government investment is needed to avoid lasting damage.

Based on an estimated range of learning loss, this would result in total lost lifetime earnings of between 1 and 3 per cent. In this scenario, the EPI calculated that this is likely to be at least £16,000 lost in earnings per pupil, but this could range from £8,000 to £46,000 per pupil, depending on the extent of learning loss. 

These earnings losses would generate a total long-run cost of between £78bn and £463bn across the 10 million children in the education system in England. This range is likely to be a highly conservative estimate of the true long-run costs of lost learning, the thinktank states.

The Government has so far committed £3.1bn for education recovery, the EPI points out this it is a far lower proportion per pupil than that of other countries, such as the Netherlands and the United States.

The report recommends a £13.5bn fund, which is closer to the £15bn that was recommended by the Government’s own catch-up tsar Sir Kevan Collins, who resigned in the summer over the lack of Government support for his plans.

The researchers have calculated lost learning by region and pupil characteristics, and found that while pupils across the country were affected, those living in the north and the Midlands have suffered the most.

They found that, for example, in October 2020, in the first half of the autumn term, in primary maths, losses ranged from 2.0 months in the South West and 2.5 months in London, to 5.2 months in the North East and 5.8 months in Yorkshire and the Humber.

By the second half of the autumn term, average losses in maths for primary pupils had improved slightly, but were still 0.5 months in the South West and 0.9 months in London to 4.0 months in the North East and 5.3 months in Yorkshire and the Humber.

For disadvantaged pupils the gap was greater. By October 2020, average learning losses for disadvantaged pupils (those on free school meals) were 4.3 months in primary maths. By December 2020, average losses for disadvantaged pupils recovered to 3.3 months in primary maths.  

How much should the Government spend on education recovery?

The Government has committed £3.1bn for education recovery in England between 2020-21 and 2024-25 – around £310 per pupil in total. In stark contrast, education catch-up plans for the Netherlands (£2,100 per pupil) and US (£1,800 per pupil) are far larger and more ambitious, the EPI said.

The report calculates that an education recovery funding package of around £13.5bn will be required by the Government.

How should funding be allocated?

For young children, the researchers’ fully-costed education recovery plans include an extra £400 million over three years for the Early Years Pupil Premium.

They also recommend funding a pilot study into the effect of higher quality early years education on young children at a cost of £83m.

The report said that funding should be allocated through a dedicated grant which provides funding to all schools, but progressively more to those in the most disadvantaged parts of the country and also by the proportion of pupils eligible for the Pupil Premium.

Other recovery interventions in the £13.5bn package should include, among other policies: an increase and extension of the Pupil Premium; extended school hours; a new continuous professional development fund for teachers: and a new 16-19 Student Premium.

Natalie Perera, chief executive of the EPI, said, ‘The Government’s existing education recovery plans have fallen well short of what the evidence says is required to support pupils – but it now has the opportunity to prioritise recovery in the forthcoming spending review. 

‘Pupils in parts of the north of England and the Midlands are facing learning losses that are greater than those in other regions. Current education recovery support for young people, including the Government’s National Tutoring Programme, is yet to address these disparities – leaving the Prime Minister’s levelling up agenda under serious threat.

‘Without a bold education recovery funding settlement targeted at those pupils who need it most, any wider plans from the government to address longstanding regional inequalities are consigned to fail.’ 

Dr Jo Casebourne, chief executive, Early Intervention Foundation, said, ‘The report puts into perspective the shocking impact the pandemic has had on young people, especially in certain parts of the country and among more disadvantaged pupils. To ensure any programme of learning catch-up works we believe it needs to go hand-in-hand with a focus on mental health and wellbeing.

‘Past studies show the link between mental health at school age and exam results later. Without additional support for pupils’ mental health, improving attainment through tutoring and other measures, especially among those who’ve fallen furthest behind over the course of the pandemic, is unlikely to have the greatest effect. 

‘It’s also very important that schools take every available opportunity to close the gap in educational outcomes between children from disadvantaged backgrounds and communities and their peers. We know that this gap has long-term impacts in terms of qualifications and employment and earnings, as the report highlights, and even aspects of physical and mental health into adulthood.’

Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said, ‘The Government is still trying to do education recovery on the cheap. The EPI now estimates £13.5bn is needed over three years. The Government’s own recovery tsar Sir Kevan Collins proposed a package of £15bn and resigned when this was not accepted. 

‘The scale of learning lost in the pandemic cannot be overcome by some short term, piecemeal measures such as catch-ups. Recovery will require years of work and investment. It is for the Government to meet that funding challenge in the Comprehensive Spending Review to make sure no child is left behind.’

A Department for Education spokesperson said, ‘We are significantly expanding the National Tutoring Programme this year, building on the progress from last year when more than 300,000 children benefited, and giving schools more flexibility to deliver tutoring that works for them and their families.

‘This investment in education recovery – of over £3 billion to date – comes on top of the £14.4bn this government is investing in schools in total over the three years up to 2022-23, helping young people leave school better educated, better skilled and ready for the world of work.’


Inclusion Week 2021


Our top tips for National Inclusion Week 2021

As National Inclusion Week draws closer, we are gearing up back at Inclusive Employers to ensure we can celebrate, showcase and further influence our members’ inclusion journey.
In true Inclusive Employers style we are here to help and are going to be sharing with you some of our consultants top tips for making the most of the week.
Register now for National Inclusion Week 2021

Person giving a talk about National Inclusion Week plans, with United For Inclusion button hanging in the background

A little bit of planning in advance of National Inclusion Week can really help to optimise the benefits of being involved in this national programme, as we commit to being #UnitedForInclusion and ensure that your whole organisation is engaged.

Like all initiatives and programmes we hope that National Inclusion Week will be an extension of your everyday commitment to inclusion and provide you with a catalyst for taking the next steps.  Key to getting this right is ensuring the focus is not just on the week itself but upon how it can really add value and impact in your organisation.  The recent horrific racism demonstrated after the Euro2021 final has shown us how far we still have to travel, we hope National Inclusion Week can help to solidify your commitment to an inclusive society where we are all #UnitedForInclusion.

So where do we start?….

1. Consider how Inclusion Week can support you to progress your inclusion objectives

Understanding where you are in your inclusion journey and your key inclusion and diversity focus moving forward how can you use the Inclusion Week 2021 theme, #UnitedForInclusion, to shine a light on these areas? We want to inspire you to see how the small actions of many can lead to much greater cultural change in your organisation.

2. Use our National Inclusion Week toolkit

Not sure where to start? Explore and utilise the Inclusive Employers Inclusion Week Daily Actions as a guide and inspiration for your own events. You will find an overview of the Daily Actions in the Toolkit resource ‘#UnitedForInclusion: A guide to the 2021 theme’. These actions can help you make some tangible commitments and don’t forget to include your staff networks or Inclusion advisory groups, there will be some brilliant ideas and inspiration you can draw upon.

3. Further your knowledge

Don’t forget to book your places on Inclusion Week events hosted by Inclusive Employers. There will be a series of events highlighting a range of inclusion topics, including events that relate to the Daily Actions. Most importantly, don’t forget to consider how you can share some of your learning and ideas throughout your organisation. You might want to consider webinars, physical events (where possible), online activities through your staff Intranet, newsletters and social media channels.  Develop a communications plan so that everyone is kept up-to-date with your Inclusion Week activity and don’t forget to use the #UnitedForInclusion so we can share some of the great things going on throughout National Inclusion Week.

4. Ensure your National Inclusion Week activities are communicated outside of your organisation

A recent Forbes study Identified that 83% of employees say they’re engaged at work when they believe the organization fosters an inclusive culture.  Make sure you celebrate your National Inclusion Week work to make your organisation stand out to prospective talent. Thousands of organisations will be uniting for National Inclusion Week 2021 and by communicating beyond our organisations we will collectively strengthen our commitment to be #UnitedForInclusion. You can use the Press Release Template in the Toolkit to support your external communications. Remember to use the campaign hashtags #UnitedForInclusion and #NationalInclusionWeek2021 and tag @InclusiveEmployers on LinkedIn and @IncEmp on Twitter.

And finally, if you haven’t registered yet for National Inclusion Week 2021 now is the time! Registering is free and it gives you full access to the NIW Toolkit, with plenty of tools and resources to support you to make the week a success, including further information on How to Prepare for National Inclusion Week.

Register for National Inclusion Week today.

Screenshot 2021-05-14 at 15.14.36

Hard Call Saves Lives Campaign

We are all mothers whose sons were stabbed to death.

We know people find it hard to call and report information on knife crime, but when our sons were murdered, we had to make much harder calls.

We’re sharing stories of the sons we lost and the calls we had to make here, in our own words. We want to show what knife crime does to families, and ask people to help save other families from losing their son or daughter.

Support this amazing and sadly much needed campaign

Met Police insists London knife crime is ‘not out of control’ despite 13 teenagers stabbed to death this year

A Metropolitan Police commander has insisted London knife crime “is not out of control”, despite 13 teenagers having lost their lives to fatal stabbings so far this year.

Fares Maatou, just 14, is among a worrying number of young men killed on London’s streets in the last five months.

That came just three days before 18-year-old Junior Jah was blasted with a shotgun before being stabbed in the same area of East London on April 26.

However, Commander Alex Murray, the Met’s Violence Lead, believes police are not “fighting a losing battle”when it comes to knife crime and Londoners “should be reassured” with the work officers are undertaking to take knives and firearms off the streets.

Speaking to My London on Tuesday (May 11), he also said that those carrying a knife “are so much more likely to be a victim of a stabbing”.

He added: “We need to understand why people carry knives. We also have a job as police to prevent violence right now. The key role of policing is, at first, to stop the bleeding.

“While we need to understand the causes, right now we need deal with the acute issue of people, often young, carrying knives.The tragedy and irony is that it is a for a feeling of safety.

“The irony is that the data is incredibly strong that if you carry a knife, you are so much more likely to be a victim of a stabbing.

“You can just imagine, if you get into a fight and you’re not carrying a knife, it is going to end in one way, but probably not with someone being stabbed or being stabbed yourself, but if you are carrying a knife it is a totally different picture.

“The other one is the credibility and prestige, unfortunately. That is something we as society, communities and families need to consider around making it not credible to carry a knife.”

Operation Sceptre, which ran from April 26 to May 2, resulted in Met officers seizing more than 400 knives from the street, including machetes, rambo, lock and kitchen knives.

Data obtained by My London via a Freedom of Information request, though, show that there has been a 10-fold rise in the number of incidents recorded by Met Police involving the use of zombie knives.

Anti-knife campaigners have also argued that police are “fighting a losing battle” and deadly knives are simply “too readily available” for young people.

In a bid to tackle the issue at source, officers aged between 18 and 25 have been carrying out test purchase operations to check if retailers are following the correct “Challenge 25” policy, with 71 out of 212 retailers selling the knife without seeing any ID.

Commander Murray say, though, that Met data suggests knife crime is falling in London.

May 10 marked a year since the formation of the Met’s Violence Suppression Units, groups made up of local officers who are solely based in their geographic area with the purpose of being alive to specific issues and building vital relationships. The proactive units identify and target the most serious offenders and tackle the key drivers of violence.

In their year of operation to date, they have seized made a total of 6,031 arrests for violent offences, including robbery GBH and murder.

More than 1,000 weapons have also been seized, including 81 firearms, and £1.5million in cash from criminality confiscated.

He adds: “You have to look at the amount of arrests we have made and the amount of knives recovered, coupled with the data. Data is one thing, and is doesn’t take away from the tragedy of people getting stabbed, but in the last 12 months we have 226 less people under the age of 25 stabbed than in the preceding 12 months – that is a 16 per cent reduction.

“There has been a 28 per cent reduction in overall knife crime compared to the 12 months previously. I don’t think it adds up that we are fighting a losing battle, but anyone getting stabbed is unacceptable.”

Newham residents also told My London they were “scared to go out” and that the issue of knife crime was “constant and getting worse” following two fatal stabbing taking place just three days apart.

His message to such residents is that police will “never rest on our laurels” and violence continued to be “the number one priority” for officers.

Commander Murray rounds off with a simple message to Londoners.

If you do not want to listen to police, at least listen to the five mums who have taken part in the Hard Calls Save Lives campaign

The video shows the parents recalling the harrowing moment they found out their family members had become London’s latest victims of knife crime.

He concludes: “If you’re reading this and don’t know anyone that carries a knife, circulate the video and get people talking about it.”



Life These Days – Young People & Covid-19

Paul McKenzie is part of the Youth Unity team was part of this amazing project and held a series of workshops working with young people who have mental health challenges.  Throughout these workshops Paul coached these young people through expressing their thoughts and feelings through art the outcome, this incredibly deep and thought provoking content.

Well done to South London and Maudsley NHS for driving such an important topic and giving these young people a voice.

Visit here for the podcast and the artwork

Knife Crime - Youth Unity

Tackling violence against women a priority despite criticism

Source: BBC

Priti Patel has insisted the government is committed “at the highest level” to tackling violence against women following the death of Sarah Everard.

The home secretary also confirmed she had ordered a review after criticism of police actions at a vigil for Ms Everard.

Following her statement, MPs began debating a crime bill which changes how the police can manage such events.

Labour says the new law “does nothing to help women feel safer”.

The Police, Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill covers major government proposals on crime and justice.

Labour’s shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds argued that the bill was more focused on increasing sentences for those who damage memorials than protecting women.

But Ms Patel said it was “completely wrong” of opposition MPs to suggest the proposed law would do nothing for women arguing it would “end the halfway release of those convicted for sexual offences such as rape”.

Meanwhile, the government announced it would put more money into the Safer Streets Fund which it said could be used for better street lighting and more CCTV.

The government says its Police, Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill would allow police to “impose conditions such as start and finish times and maximum noise levels on static protests” of whatever size.

Ms Patel said allowing police to put conditions on protests had become necessary due to a “significant change in tactics” by protestors which “had led to a disproportionate amount of disruption” such as blocking ambulances on emergency calls and people gluing themselves to rush hour trains.

Criticism over how the police handled the vigil for Ms Everard has thrown a spotlight on some of the measures in the bill and Labour has now said it will oppose it.

Mr Thomas-Symonds said the bill contained “poorly thought-out measures to impose disproportionate controls on free expression”.

He said the scenes from the Sarah Everard vigil on Clapham Common on Saturday were a “red warning light” to ministers that they “should not be rushing through laws cracking down on protest”.

The Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said the bill was “shocking” and contained “offensive anti-democratic proposals”.

The bill would also double the maximum penalty for assaults on emergency workers from 12 months to two years and introduce a measure known as ‘Kay’s Law’.

Kay’s Law introduces a change to the bail system, so individuals are not held on bail for unreasonable lengths of time, while enabling police to impose strict conditions on more suspects in cases such as domestic abuse.

It is named in memory of Kay Richardson, who was murdered by her ex-partner following his release under investigation.

Stalking measures

Meanwhile in the House of Lords, the government has been defeated over its Domestic Abuse Bill.

In spite of government opposition, peers backed a change to the bill that would ensure migrant women, who are the victim of domestic abuse, have a route to be able to legally remain in the UK.

They also backed a call for tougher supervision and monitoring of serial domestic abuse and stalking perpetrators, demanding the creation of a register of perpetrators.

On Monday evening, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Ms Patel and Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick attended a crime and justice taskforce to discuss ways to protect women and girls from violence.

Following the meeting, the government has pledged a doubling of the funding for the Safer Streets Fund which provides neighbourhood measures such as better lighting and CCTV.

The Home Office has confirmed this brings the funding for local projects to a total of £45 million.

Policing Minister, Kit Malthouse will also hold a summit in the coming weeks with police and industry representatives from the night-time economy on preparations to protect women as pandemic restrictions lift.

Responding to the announcement, the Reclaim These Streets group – which had wanted to set up a legal vigil for Sarah Everard – welcomed the money but added: “We don’t believe that funding alone creates the structural changes we’ve talked about… women won’t be able to trust that they are safe until misogyny and racism are tackled at an institutional level within government, police and the criminal justice system.”

Analysis box by Jonathan Blake, political correspondent

Even before the killing of Sarah Everard, the government’s planned changes to policing and the criminal justice system had proved controversial.

But the events of this weekend have heightened the debate about the policing of public gatherings and whether the criminal justice system does enough to protect women and punish men for violent crimes.

It’s a coincidence that the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill is being introduced this week but there’s no doubt its passage through parliament will be influenced by recent events.

Labour is attempting to seize on the issue, opposing the bill having previously planned to abstain.

But so far there is no indication the government is ready to allow changes to, for example, make misogyny a hate crime or include measures to tackle street harassment, focusing instead on a strategy due to be published later this year.


Sarah Everard: New safety measures after killing

Source: BBC

New safety measures after killing “Immediate steps” aimed at improving safety for women and girls in England and Wales have been announced by No 10 after Sarah Everard’s death.

Among them is an additional £25m for better lighting and CCTV as well as a pilot scheme which would see plain-clothes officers in pubs and clubs.

Campaigners say the money is not enough and called for institutional changes.

Labour said meaningful changes to law are needed rather than plans involving “police officers in skinny jeans”.

It comes after hundreds of people protested in central London on Monday.

Ms Everard went missing while walking home from a friend’s house on 3 March.

Her body was later found in woodland in Kent and Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens, 48, has been charged with the 33-year-old marketing executive’s kidnap and murder.

Following a meeting of the government’s Crime and Justice Taskforce on Monday evening, Downing Street said it would take “immediate steps” to give “further reassurance” to women and girls in the wake of the killing of Ms Everard.

No 10 said it would double the size of the Safer Streets fund – which provides local measures such as better lighting and CCTV – to £45m.

Undercover police will be sent to clubs, bars and popular nightspots to relay intelligence about predatory or suspicious offenders to uniformed officers, in pilots of so-called Project Vigilant, rolled out across the country.

Safeguarding minister Victoria Atkins said undercover officers working in the night-time economy would feed intelligence to uniformed officers.

She said the government would work with businesses and police to ensure, as the industry reopened following the coronavirus lockdown, “that women can feel safe in our streets”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson – who chaired the meeting – said the government was bringing in “landmark legislation” to toughen up sentences and put more police on streets.

He said: “Ultimately, we must drive out violence against women and girls and make every part of the criminal justice system work to better protect and defend them.”

‘Caught on the hop’

But Labour’s shadow domestic violence minister Jess Phillips told BBC Breakfast that in her years of experience, she had not come across experts or victims calling for more CCTV in public spaces.

She accused ministers of being “caught on the hop” and rolling out plans involving “police officers in skinny jeans” rather than meaningful changes to legislation regarding street harassment, or a detailed review of how rape is prosecuted in England and Wales.

The shadow home secretary, Labour’s Nick Thomas-Symonds, said the measures were “nowhere near good enough” and called for “urgent action” on issues like harassment of women, domestic homicide sentencing and more support for victims of rape.

Labour MP Stella Creasy told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme more funding for better street lighting was not unwelcome, but “it really just doesn’t understand what the issues are”. She said measures focused on policing nightspots do not recognise “that women get abused, assaulted and intimidated in all sorts of places”.

Dr Ellie Cosgrave, a lecturer in urban innovation and policy at University College London, said it was right that the government consider lighting as a way to help make cities safer, but added: “You can’t just shove a light in and hope that the public space will be better.”

She told BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour that “over-lighting” some areas in a city can make other areas feel less safe.

Dr Cosgrave said the best action ministers can take to make cities safer is to understand the “social dynamics” of an area by conducting surveys, speaking to people, and implementing change based on what they say.

‘Structural changes’

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told BBC Breakfast it was good news that more women were feeling more confident to report rape allegations, but he added “we still haven’t done well enough to get the evidence that can secure convictions”.

A spokeswoman for organisation Reclaim These Streets said it welcomed additional funding but did not believe funding alone would create the structural changes which were “so important”.

“Women won’t be able to trust that they are safe until misogyny and racism are tackled at an institutional level within government, police and the criminal justice system,” she said. captionDania Al-Obeid: “All I wanted was to stand with other women”

Home Secretary Priti Patel had warned against holding vigils, and has launched a review into the policing of a gathering over the weekend in south London in memory of Ms Everard.

During that event, officers handcuffed and removed several women after crowds gathered on Clapham Common to lay flowers and pay their respects.

On Monday, hundreds marched across central London in what was said to be a meeting by Sisters Uncut, which describes itself as an “intersectional feminist direct-action collective”, with many of those in attendance carrying placards.

Four people were arrested – three on suspicion of breaching coronavirus regulations and a fourth on suspicion of assaulting an emergency worker. A further two people were issued with fixed penalty notices, the Metropolitan Police said.

Protests will be able to legally resume on 29 March, when the coronavirus “stay at home” order lifts in England.

The prime minister’s spokesman said demonstrations will continue to be subject to Covid-secure precautions such as appropriate measures to maintain social distancing.

Meanwhile, MPs will continue debating the Police, Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill later, which would change how protests are managed, including allowing police to impose conditions such as start and finish times.

Labour has criticised the bill saying it did “nothing to help women feel safer”, and imposed “disproportionate” controls on freedom of speech.

Ms Patel said the bill would end the halfway release of those convicted of sexual offences such as rape and also said the Domestic Abuse bill was on track to receive royal assent by the end of April, which she said would “transform our collective response to this abhorrent crime”.