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Community group to work with police to tackle youth violence

WORKING TOGETHER: Patsy Nelson, right, with dancehall star Papa San who was a guest at VAC’s debut event last year

VOICE AGAINST CRIME CIC, a Birmingham-based not-for-profit community interest organisation, has been commissioned by the West Midlands Police and Crime Commission to deliver a youth programme to help tackle the rise in serious youth violence.

Positioning Youth to Prosper (PYP) is an all-day programme which will run throughout the spring bank holiday week from Monday, May 27 to Friday, May 31 from the Church of God of Prophecy Community Centre, Broad Road in the Acocks Green area of the Second City.

PYP will place emphases on education, training, employment, entrepreneurship and business through a range of activities, including drama, dance, music and sports, plus group discussions, in-house and external speakers, visiting support agencies and affected parents to sup- port youth out of damaging ways of life.

Spaces are available for a maximum of 40 eight- to 17-year-olds, with the proviso that they attend for the whole week, among the conditions qualifying delegates need to meet to be accepted to best ensure they get the full benefit from the programme.

Voice Against Crime’s (VAC) Com- pany Director Patsy Nelson told The Voice: “We know the serious youth violence involving gun and knife crime is being perpetrated by a significant minority of individuals.

However, the knock-on effect and the increased tension and fear this causes is also of major concern to us. “Voice Against Crime is not against the youth. Our simple message is ‘every life matters’. As such, the programmes we have put together are not only designed to raise awareness but to create an atmosphere that empowers our young people to make the right choices and to see and walk in the great potential they possess.”

HOPES

PYP is one of a number of activities VAC is leveraging to address the growth of violent crime, which has seen over a dozen fatal stabbings and shootings in the West Midlands in 2019.

VAC recently put on the first showing of No Tomorrow, a stage play it produced which highlights the dangers of street crime, which it hopes will be picked up by larger theatres in the city and beyond.

To enquire or reserve a place, email voiceagainstcrimeuk@gmail.com

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