ESDF Save London Lives awards £400,000

By Tania Skae

Back in August we launched the ESDF Save London Lives fund – aimed at building a better and more robust community response to youth violence in London by increasing the impact and resilience of organisations working to reduce violence among young people in London.

We’re delighted to announce that the first round of grants have been awarded to 20 community-based organisations across London – all of which are tackling violence amongst young people through one of the following themes: trauma, school or family.

Two-year funding was awarded to all successful groups to support their core and activity costs, with final decisions made by a multi-disciplinary panel of Evening Standard and community representatives.

The types and range of projects vary from youth work to family support, anti-knife workshops in schools to trauma training for staff at a youth centre. All projects will benefit from a package of capacity building support, offering meaningful training and networking opportunities.

One of the organisations who received funding was The New Era Foundation, who received £20,000 over two years towards training for their DIVERT initiative staff, a custody-based intervention programme that delivers life-choice and employment support to 18 – 25 year olds in custody.

Wilf Pickles, Vice Chair of the Foundation said: “The New Era Foundation is extremely grateful to the Evening Standard Dispossessed Fund and the London Community Foundation in awarding this grant. The funding will provide resilience for our Custody Intervention Coaches by allowing the Foundation to utilise part-time trained staff to ensure that our DIVERT 'clients are provided with the necessary skills and mentoring to achieve their goals in education, training or sustainable employment. We have found that clients achieving their goals reduces re-offending and builds safer communities.” 

This funding will also support Switchback, who received £20,000 towards the salaries of staff to deliver targeted mentoring and support to 44 prison-leavers over two years.

Supporting young male prison-leavers to make real, lasting change through intensive one-to-one support and real work training, they stick by their ‘trainees’ as they move through the prison gate, encouraging and challenging them to take control and build a more stable life for themselves, no matter how long it takes. And their programme works; nationally 49% of people leaving prison reoffend within a year but for Switchback Trainees, this figure is just 8%. 78% of those who complete the programme move into sustainable work. Learn more about the impact of Switchback’s work by reading Oliver’s story.

Hayley Topley from Switchback said: “Funding from the ESDF Save London Lives Fund will support us to reach more young men in prison and help them to live completely different, more positive lives without crime.”  

We are committed to tackling violence in London. The second round of Save London Lives, thanks to a donation from Citi, is currently open for applications for organisations using employment and enterprise until 26th November 2018. You can see a full list of organisations awarded a Save London Lives grant here.