My professional background is over thirty years working in domestic violence and alternative therapy in both the public and private sectors. Several years ago, a close family member lost her partner to knife crime. Although the perpetrators were caught and jailed, I personally felt helpless seeing her and her family go through this.

Several years later, my own son and his close friend also became victims of knife crime. Whilst established services exist for victims of crime, research revealed that none are available to families of victims or indeed perpetrators’ families who are left alone to make sense of events and pick up the pieces. At this point I decided I had to do something and YMAV was created.

In the early days, what was noted by youths was a variety of things; the police don’t help, the stigma attached to speaking out or ‘grassing’ and that there was nowhere for them to go. Initially, we organised events to promote awareness, evolving to provide the support and services we offer today, and work to raise the aspirations of our young people.

Our mission is to provide crisis and ongoing support services for families and individuals affected by violence and network with youths and the community, providing outreach support, counselling, CBT based self help workshops and complementary therapies.

YMAV has a highly qualified team able to support families and individuals who have been direct and indirect victims of violence by offering 1 to 1 outreach support, alongside complementary therapeutic services. Additionally, we arrange emergency short term respite for at-risk males (aged 18-30) in extreme cases of violence and threat of violence. This service is highly confidential.

Lee Brooks

Founder and Executive Director, YMAV


READ MORE ON THEIR WEBSITE https://www.ymav.co.uk