BristolViolence Reduction Partnership

Where can I get supportfor a young person in Bristol?

Bristol Violence Reduction Partnership, which includes Safer Options, is a collaborative partnership of multiple agencies who work together to address Serious Youth Violence (SYV), Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE), and Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE).

We understand that this can be a stressful time for all involved, and families may be hesitant to speak up about their concerns. The sooner we can provide assistance to a young person, the greater chance we have to help them find safer options and reach their full potential.

Because Bristol’s communities are so diverse, there are numerous ways to seek support and assistance. Knowing where to begin can be overwhelming, but we’ve made sure you have options, so there’s no wrong place to seek assistance.

    • All schools and colleges have a link to Safer Options via their Education Inclusion Manager. Just ask a trusted teacher if they can support you to get the right support in place for your child.
    • There are a wide range of services to support young people across Bristol. Please use the link below to search local activities and support services across the city: Advice and support for young people
    • Bristol City Council’s Children and Families First Response Team offer advice and guidance, access to family support and community resources and specialist services. They can be contacted on 0117 903 6444.
    • Barnardo’s ROUTES service supports young people at the highest risk of exploitation or violence, including young people who have been hurt before or are at risk of hurting others. They work with young people up to 21. You can self-refer by contacting them directly on 0117 9349726.
    • Your local PCSOs can give advice or link you in with one of our local organisations. Click here to find your local police contact. They work with the specialist Police Early Intervention Officers within the Violence Reduction Partnership and support prevention interventions in schools, sports programmes as well as positive outreach activities in the city.

The partnership have also created a booklet for parents and carers who are caring for children and young people at risk of exploitation. Click here to view a copy. 

Supporting professionals with a trauma informed response to critical incidents.

The recent tragic events in Bristol have been felt by our communities and by many of those who live and work in these affected communities.

The partnership recognised that many professionals will be managing their own difficult feelings, as well as having others reliant on them for their support. Three safe space sessions were faciliated in February to give local professionals and community leaders the opportunity to consider how to process complex feelings that may arise from these incidents. This included a discussion on how professionals could  look after themselves, support their staff and volunteers, whilst helping the community begin their recovery.

These sessions facilitated discussion about the potential impacts of trauma and the benefits of trauma informed approaches in the wake of these serious incidents. They were organised with Julia Pennington, Managing Director of Dignifi.

Trauma Awareness and Recovery Training.

A one day Trauma Awareness and Recovery Training session is being made available to local professionals working with young people.

These sessions will take place online via Teams, 9.30am to 4.30pm on the following dates. Please complete the relevant form below, by clicking  on the relevant date.  Please note that this training is only for professionals.

For more information about these events please contact

Bristol VRPSafer Options

Safer Options is the name we give to a coordinated whole system response to prevent serious violence and exploitation.

The Bristol Violence Reduction Partnership includes Safer Options, providing an umbrella under which new initiatives are brought together to enable a coherent response to extrafamilial harm to develop.

The Avon and Somerset VRP works to a hub and spoke model, with Bristol VRP being one of the five spokes.

Collectively, the partnership has decided their approach will span all forms of extrafamilial harm.

The Bristol Violence Reduction Partnership/Safer Options hub team includes:

  • 2 x Peer Influencers
  • Barnardo’s, ROUTES, Safe Choices, BASE, BASE Transitions Services
  • Bristol VRP Coordinator/Safer Options Manager
  • Business Support Worker
  • Local Youth and Community organisations
  • Locality Teams e.g. Family Intervention Service (FIS), Social Care, Youth Justice, YCW, EIM’s
  • Operation Topaz Police Team
  • Safer Options Advanced Practitioner
  • The Avon and Somerset Early Intervention Police Team
  • VRP Officers and Prevention Workers

Prevention, Diversion and Community Interventions.

Girls’ Groups: Group programme supporting girls on the periphery of groups exposed to extrafamilial harm. One group is located in each locality of the city.

Education Inclusion Workers: Workers embedded in six secondary schools, providing enhanced pastoral care and preventative interventions in the school environment for young people at risk of exploitation.

Detached and in-reach youth work: Across the city linked to “hot spot”areas and locations with a higher need. Model of “pop-up” youth clubs faciliated in summer holidays.

Prevention Workshops: Universal workshops raising awareness on SYV, exploitation, county lines, knife crime and negative influences of social media and working with young people to raise aspirations.

The Bright Outlook (NHS) Programme: An NHS led anti-knife crime programme working with selected young people from secondary schools across Bristol.

Hospital Rapid Response: 24-hour rapid outreach service from Barnardo’s ROUTES, offering specialist support to any child presenting in hospital with an injury from serious youth violence.

Late-night outreach: Targeted outreach in areas where there is concern about organised exploitation of children/missing children. Includes a proactive engagement programme with adult street sex workers to build confidence in information sharing.

Targeted Group work: Supporting identified friendship groups of young people involved in CCE/SYV, to manage conflict and improve peer relationships.

Parent Support Groups: Parent led groups in each locality, providing advice, guidance and peer support for parents of children affected by exploitation.

Call-in Project: Deferred charging programme for young people aged 16-21 in East Central Bristol who have been arrested for crimes related to drug-dealing and SYV.

BDP New Leaf: Support for young people who are using cannabis and are at risk of exploitation and/or SYV. Support for young people at risk of exclusion from education due to drug possession.

Participation, Voice and Influence Interventions.

Connecting Communities and meetings: Community development meetings with Voluntary Community Sector (VCS) groups to engage community organisations in issues related to extrafamilial harm and shape strategic decisions.

Child safeguarding practice reviews: Engagement of parents and young people central to commissioning of reviews and shaping recommendations.

Youth Violence Summit: Consultation with young people across the city to develop a youth manifesto on SYV.

Peer Influencers: Young people recruited to support our work in various ways, including evaluating projects, sitting on interview panels, developing resources and representing the voice of young people across the city.

Community Mentoring.

What is it?

Community organisations across the city have been commissioned to provide mentors with ’lived experience’ to work with young people who have been identified as being at medium or high risk of exploitation and serious youth violence.

The mentor tailors the engagement to meet the needs and interests of the individual young person, so as to increase the likelihood of engagement and positive outcomes.

Why was it developed?

  • Mentors can work outside of the traditional 9am-5pm working hours.
  • Mentors lived experience/s enables them to understand the issues affecting young people.
  • Mentors can become a positive role models for the young people.

ContactBristol VRP


PartnersWe Work With

Somerset Violence Reduction Partnership


Bath and North East Somerset Violence Reduction Partnership

Bath and North East Somerset

South Gloucestershire Violence Reduction Partnership

South Gloucestershire

North Somerset Violence Reduction Partnership

North Somerset

Bristol Violence Reduction Partnership