The Prince’s Trust is uniting the youth sector against violence with the launch of an initiative promoting role models and free activities to young people at risk of violence this Summer.
The Amplified initiative, bringing together youth organisations including the Scouts, UK Youth, Redthread and StreetDoctors, will share activities and safe spaces for young people, as well as insights and advice from those who have lived experience of violence.
Two-thirds of young people in the UK (66%) think having positive role models would help to reduce violent crime among young people, while 45% believe there are not enough alternative activities for young people.
One of the young campaigners speaking out as part of Amplified, Omar Sharif, says: “If young people share our experiences and the things we’ve been through, we can have a powerful impact on other young people whose lives are at risk of taking a negative turn.
Even if I change just one person’s life for the better it will be worth it, but I believe long lasting change will be made by giving young people role models who are relatable and who direct them to the services and support they need. This is what Amplified aims to do and I’m proud to be part of it.
Ian Jeffers, deputy chief executive at The Prince’s Trust, says: “Violence levels in this country have reached staggering highs and we need to do everything we can to protect our young people and give them an alternative life.
Our Amplified initiative will see the youth sector promoting positive role models and free activities to those who need them most. Together, we have the commitment, scale and influence to make a real difference to young people in this country.
We are increasing our work with young people in key cities to help those at risk of being impacted by, or getting involved in, serious violence. We will also scale up our early intervention work with teens, increasing sports, music and arts courses that engage ‘at risk’ young people.
Recent data shows that there has been a 77% increase in homicides committed with knives by under-18s between 2016 and 2018, and a 93% increase in the number of under-16s admitted to hospital due to knife attacks since 2012.
Amplified has already received pro bono support from Facebook, Twitter and KISS FM.