Positive Futures joined forces for National Hate Crime Week with our VOSS partners to deliver a consistent message to young people across the five areas of North Liverpool. With a focus on the areas Secondary Schools, the Detached Youth Worker teams from Positive Futures, Walton Youth Project, The Lighthouse, Sports Alive and BNENC delivered an intensive week of daily “blast sessions” to tackle the issue of Hate Crime.

The aim of the week was to engage with as many young people as possible in order to raise awareness and share information about Hate Crime. From an informal conversation at the school gate to an assembly delivered by Daisy UK with a focus on disability hate crime, the expectation was that this would be a catalyst for conversations. Infact, the response was overwhelming with more than expected young people engaging with the teams to talk about Hate Crime. Over 3700 young people accessed information during the week, enabling young people to share their experiences, creating natural discussions and initiating new ideas.

Many of the school involved in the week’s activities expressed interest in exploring a more long term projects to tackle Hate Crime. We are delighted to be working jointly with Sports Alive to facilitate a group sessions at West Derby Boys School that will train and up skill a handful of students to become “Champions”.

“Rather than targeting potential perpetrators of Hate Crime we thought it better to influence a culture of “challenging” even very low level attitudes of hate and discrimination by coaching students to take the lead; with a view to normalising peer on peer challenging.”

Catherine Simmons, VOSS Project Manager 

A programme is being designed, from ideas expressed by young people, to create Champions within peer groups. The aim is build confidence to enable these young people to talk about Hate Crime and the common issues of discrimination that occur generally in Secondary schools. The training offered to the Champions will allow them to start influencing a culture change within peer groups that moves away from keeping quiet and actually normalises peer on peer conversations that highlight the negative effects of discrimination including hate crime.

All five VOSS organisations used Hate Crime Awareness as the theme in their group work during the week.  Creating further opportunities to discuss the issues of Hate Crime in detail, exploring what this means to the lives of young people.

 

” The Secondary Schools in the area were fantastic, inviting us into their breakfast clubs and school grounds so that we could have decent conversations with young people. We were able to find out throughout the week what hate crime means to young people in this area. VOSS partners managed to engage with so many young people that follow up projects are already being developed as a result of what they said and also what schools saw as a genuine need to address this issue.”

Catherine Simmons, VOSS Project Manager

We look forward to working with our VOSS partners delivering a co-ordinated approach in future projects. If you would like further information about VOSS, please email Catherine Simmons, VOSS Project Manager at catherine@positivefutures.org.uk. 

VOSS is funded by the Big Lottery Fund.

 

I value working with colleagues in a culture that fosters inclusion, professional development and trust.

My experience of working in Schools, Youth Work and Children’s Services for many years has afforded me with the knowledge and ability to successfully work within this specific field and the wider professional environment.   

I have inspired others with commitment, enthusiasm and confidence, I am courageous with relentless energy and passionate in pursuit of the vision.

Having the ability to gain trust has enabled me to motivate young people into making the right choices, mentoring young people onto appropriate support and transition in schools, employment and semi-independent housing.

I have provided high quality levels of pastoral support to young people, giving advice and guidance to them therefore enhancing their personal development, I have reached out and extended this support to the families also.   

This role is very specific to my skills and abilities, recognizing that communication is key to working with families, discussing all options and strategies with parents getting them on board  to decide what will work best for the young people.   

Representing the organisation in a positive light, ensuring confidentiality of information, I am committed to the ethos of my employer I am also adaptable with a professional approach.