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On Friday 20th October, the Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester visited the Violence Reduction Unit’s (VRU’s) community-led programme in Bury to hear about the positive impact it is having in preventing young people from becoming involved in serious violence and other crimes.

The programme in Bury works with young people aged between 10 and 25, and their families, to develop projects and activities to address the underlying causes of violence and build aspirations and opportunities.

Set up in September 2022, the programme delivers projects that provide mentoring programmes and positive role models for young people and families at risk or vulnerable to serious youth violence and criminal exploitation, youth work activities that will reach and cater for different communities, school-based interventions to support those at risk of exclusion, and community sports-based interventions.

A community-led approach to violence reduction means the VRU works closely with communities to understand the strengths, challenges, and needs of the community and determine how local investments will be made.

A new community film which showcases the impact of support provided to a mother through the programme in Bury was also premiered at the visit. You can watch the film here.

Kate Green, Deputy Mayor for policing, crime, criminal justice, and fire, said:

We know that providing positive alternatives for young people is vital if we are to reduce violence. The alliance in Bury works to provide exactly that, as well as offering support for parents and families.  The mentoring offer in Bury is particularly strong because of the partner’s ability to identify young people who would benefit from a mentor and cross-refer. I am really pleased to see the positive impact that the programme is having in Bury and look forward to seeing how it continues to grow and strengthen.

Jackie, supported by Early Break, and star of the Bury community-led film, said:

The support from Early Break has been phenomenal, I wish they had come into our lives earlier than they did. The support and advocacy for my son and the support I have received from Julie has been amazing, she has helped with so much especially rebuilding our relationship.

More support like this is needed in the community, there are lots of families within the area like us and I have shared my experience of the service we received. I hope the film proves to be a positive experience and supports continued funding.

The VRU’s community-led programme in Bury is just one of the many programmes Bury VCFA is proud to support. To find out more about the programme and the organisations involved visit the VRU webpage on our website.

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