The South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) has visited Westfield School in Sheffield to see the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) programme in action.

MVP is a programme designed to be delivered in schools, to educate teachers, staff and pupils on the bystander model.

This encourages people to speak out when they see inappropriate behaviours, rather than standing by and watching this unfold, with the aim of bringing about long-term changes to attitudes in society.

The VRU has previously funded the rollout of MVP in schools in South Yorkshire. Westfield School has taken part in the programme, and the VRU visited the school to see an MVP session.

During the session, the VRU observed students on the MVP programme putting together lesson plans focused on the different kinds of unacceptable behaviour which can take place, as well as looking at how these behaviours can be safely challenged.

Working with their teachers, the students will be delivering these lessons to other year groups in the school in future, to encourage and support others to speak out against inappropriate behaviours.

Graham Jones, Head of the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit said: “At the Violence Reduction Unit, our ambition is to prevent and reduce violence in South Yorkshire.

“As part of that work, we recognise how important it is to address the cultural and social attitudes which contribute to violence, to bring about long term change.

“Initiatives such as MVP are designed to do that, encouraging students to challenge unacceptable behaviours in schools.

“I’m pleased that Westfield School are taking MVP forward, and that the VRU could visit and chat to the students about what they are learning through the programme.”