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Charity to work with GM borough in first project outside of London to support youngsters at risk of a life of crime

Manchester Evening News logo Manchester Evening News 05/10/2022 Charlotte Green
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Tameside will become the first borough outside London to work with a charity to help vulnerable youngsters who ‘keep professionals awake at night’ out of a life of crime.

The borough’s executive cabinet has agreed to enter into a partnership with SHiFT, a national charity which aims to improve the chances for young people who are involved or at risk of becoming involved in criminal behaviour.

It will provide training and guidance for staff working in the Tameside Pupil Referral Unit, specifically helping 27 young residents who have been identified by a range of local professionals as being the most vulnerable.

A report to cabinet states that these are the young people who ‘keep them awake at night’.

“These will be young people where cycles of harm have established and where many of the factors we know can set people on course for conflict with the law are present,” officers add.

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“These young people will find themselves in circumstances where, despite the best efforts of many services, the desired impact it not being achieved and in most cases the, situation is getting worse.”

The ethos of SHiFT is to ‘break the destructive cycle’ of children and young people being caught up in crime. It aims to reduce the rate and severity of re-offending, and increase engagement with education or employment.

The charity currently works in Kingston, Richmond, Greenwich and Bexley in London. The decision to enter into partnership with the organisation means Tameside will become the first area outside of the capitol to work alongside SHiFT to support young people.

It is aiming to make Tameside a ‘beacon of excellence’ in the region. The young people it works with will be supported by ‘guides’ who will provide a high-quality and ‘trusting’ professional relationship, with intensive therapeutic support.

The report states it is hoped that the practice will be extended further across Greater Manchester, drawing on the support of the Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit – which is also partly funding the £556,500 scheme.

The remainder of the funding for the programme is coming from the Tameside Pupil Referral Service and the Bruno Schroder Trust, the Dulverton Trust and from un-invested SHiFT reserves.

Deputy leader Councillor Bill Fairfoull, who has responsibility for the children and families portfolio, said: “By agreeing to this collaboration, Tameside will become the first area outside of London to work with SHiFT and will lead the way in creating innovative solutions to end cycles of harm.

“The tailored programme will provide outstanding support for the most vulnerable children in Tameside to transform their lives, achieve their aspirations and establish the safe and bright futures they deserve, which will benefit society as a whole.”

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