April VRP Director’s Blog.

North Somerset Spotlight

Our Public Health Approach

and Support Services.  

Our Avon and Somerset Violence Reduction Partnership (ASVRP) works collaboratively with multiple partners to identify the underlying causes of violence and develop targeted interventions to reduce the likelihood  of young people becoming involved in criminal activity and provide them with alternative options. This is known as a public health approach.  Here in Avon and Somerset we have a devolved model for our violence reduction partnership.  There are five local area partnerships in place covering each of the five local authority areas which focus on putting in place systems and interventions to best respond to their local needs.

Addressing the issue of violence and the root causes can improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities, as well as having a wider positive effect on our society and economy.

Our partnership is currently delivering over 40 interventions across Avon and Somerset, providing both an awareness and an understanding on the impact of violence and preventing young people from getting involved. Interventions range from one-on-one mentoring, workshops, sports initiatives, outreach youth work, therapy to supporting the night time economy. Interventions enhance educational outcomes, employment prospects and long-term health.

One intervention example is ‘Blunt Truth’, which is delivered in partnership with Avon and Somerset Police to young people in school years 7-9. The overall aim is to prevent assaults using knives from taking place and to encourage young people to report details of an individual they believe are carrying a knife through their school, the police or via the anonymous reporting charity fearless.org.

The young people are shown a film, which demonstrates the different possible outcomes if concerns of someone carrying a knife are reported or not. One of our medical partners (the NHS, Great Western Ambulance Service or Army Medics) discuss the dangers of knife crime from a health perspective and teach the young people practical first-aid skills to help them deal with wounds from a blade or weapon.

Sadly, violence has a profound impact on more than just the individual victim/s, their family, and friends, it affects the wider community and professionals involved. Our collaborative partnership also provides advice and guidance for professionals, parents, and carers. From information booklets about where to get support to training sessions, workshops, and themed conferences with highly skilled speakers.

Over the past few weeks, our new social media accounts have concentrated on sharing information on support services for young people, parents/caregivers, professionals, and the larger community. This information is also available on our new website. We believe it is crucial that everyone understands where they can seek guidance and assistance. If you are not already following us, please do and share with your friends and colleagues.

Facebook: @ASVRP (Avon and Somerset Violence Reduction Partnership).

Twitter (X): @aandsvrp

Website: www.asvrp.co.uk


Natalie Lavis

A&S Violence Reduction Partnership Director