The South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) has attended a mental health networking event ran by the Educational Learning Support Hub (ELSH), a Barnsley-based charity.

The mental health networking event brought together local partners and providers to look at mental health provision, and ways in which organisations can work together to improve support.

The VRU has supported ELSH with £15,787 of grant funding through its 2023 Violence Reduction Fund. This provides funding for projects supporting young people aged 4-25, providing positive diversionary activities, role models, and mental health support, in order to prevent them from becoming involved in violence.

The VRU funding for ELSH supports an employability programme, which is working with vulnerable young people aged 16-25 to reduce anti-social behaviour and crime, by introducing training to teach skills which can help young people to progress into work.

The programme offers employability training, access to good quality careers guidance, and Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) which supports social inclusion via other pathways, for example employment, welfare, and life skills.

Florentine Bootha-King, ELSH Founder and CEO said: “ELSH is partnering with the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit to promote effective teaching and coaching for reducing crime and raising awareness about tackling anti-social behaviour.

“The goal is to create a safe and fair environment for people to live, learn, work, and travel without fear.

This will be accomplished by sharing good practices, implementing the best approach of learning, and conducting focus groups for protecting vulnerable people as part of the planned VRU Strategy.”

Graham Jones, Head of the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit said: “The Educational Learning Support Hub’s employability programme provides important support to help vulnerable young people into work.

“This forms part of the VRU’s aim to prevent people from becoming involved in violence, by providing greater security, skills, and long-term prospects, and I’m pleased that we have been able to provide funding for the programme through our Violence Reduction Fund.”