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27th Jan 2020
A new trial to support young people at risk or experiencing violence has been launched at Alder Hey.
The Navigators project, run in partnership with Merseyside's Violence Reduction Unit (VRU), involves a youth worker based in Alder Hey's Emergency Department till March 2020. This youth worker will work to help victims of violence access support services.
Alder Hey’s Director of Children & Young People Community & Mental Health, Lisa Cooper said:
“Alder Hey is really pleased to be part of this project and to lead its development in partnership with the VRU to support young people who are either at risk of, or experiencing, violence in Merseyside.
“Among the various forms of violence experienced by young people, there is a regrettable number who endure it through child criminal exploitation – this is a form of child abuse. Alder Hey plays a critical role in explaining the range of support services available to young people, and in encouraging them to access them."
In conjunction with Merseyside’s Violence Reduction Unit, which is a partnership of many organisations working to reduce violence in all five boroughs of Merseyside, Alder Hey will explore its opportunity to support both victims, and in some cases perpetrators, of violence to evaluate the success of long-term intervention work.
Superintendent Mark Wiggins, who manages Merseyside’s VRU said: “The new Navigators trial at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital is a good example of the ‘public health’ approach that drives the work of the Violence Reduction Unit.
“We fund, co-ordinate and bring together the work of all sorts of organisations and agencies across Merseyside with a view to reducing and preventing violence in our communities – and also dealing with the causes of serious violence. We look forward to seeing the results of this significant trial.”
Jackie Rooney, the NHS lead for Merseyside VRU, said: “We are very excited to launch the Navigators project with Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, to start assessing the potential to positively impact the lives of young people and families of our city – whether they are a victim or a perpetrator of violence.
“Based on evaluation and findings of this work with Alder Hey, the VRU is aiming to be in a position to roll this model out across our Merseyside Accident and Emergency departments in spring 2020.’’
The ‘navigators’ will also have the skills and knowledge to connect the young person to support agencies, to source guidance in improving their health and wellbeing, their resilience, giving them opportunities to develop and get involved in new activities and ultimately improving their options in life whilst increasing their safety.
The project will be formally evaluated by Dr Zara Quigg from Liverpool John Moore’s University, who will collect and analyse the data to learn more about Merseyside’s ‘hotspots’ for young people and violence, so future VRU funding can work in areas that may not have been previously identified.
Alder Hey Children's Charity