Original Article and Image Credit: Coventry City Council.
Partners from across Coventry have launched the Coventry Domestic Abuse Strategy 2018-2023 to tackle domestic abuse in the city.
The strategy will take a long-term preventative approach to tackling domestic abuse, including honour-based violence and forced marriage.
The strategy focuses on:
- improving awareness and understanding across all levels of society;
- providing services tailored to local need, and removing barriers to service access;
- empowering victims to report, and break free from the cycle of abuse;
- protecting children and ensuring that their voices are heard and valued;
- and facilitating behaviour change in perpetrators, whilst also ensuring that they are held accountable for their actions.
Domestic abuse can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation, although women and children carry the greatest burden.
The rate of domestic abuse is higher in Coventry than the national average. Between April 2016 and July 2017 there were more than 2700 domestic abuse incidents recorded by West Midlands Police in Coventry.
The consequences of domestic abuse are devastating. It is associated with an increased risk of mental and physical health problems; and children exposed to domestic abuse are at an increased risk of becoming a victim or perpetrator themselves.
Cllr Pervez Akhtar, Deputy Cabinet Member for Policing and Equalities said: “Domestic abuse in all its forms is an issue which needs our attention – we all have to play a part in tackling not just the crimes themselves, but the root causes.
“Across England, almost two million people experienced domestic abuse in 2016-17.
“For too many people, domestic abuse is part and parcel of their daily lives and it is present in all of our city’s communities. The strategy aims to change that – we want to consign these crimes to history.”
The Coventry Domestic Violence and Abuse Partnership, made up of Refuge, Barnardo’s, Valley House, Panahghar and Fry Housing, provides services for victims and perpetrators of domestic abuse in Coventry. Coventry Haven supports women and children experiencing domestic abuse.
Individuals of Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee background; adults with care and support needs including disabled people; older people; men; and those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender can face additional barriers to accessing support services.
The priorities of the strategy have been informed by consultation with a wide range of partners including users and providers of domestic abuse services, voluntary and community sector organisations, West Midlands Police, Coventry and Rugby CCG, and colleagues from health and social care, and education.
Targeted engagement has also been carried out with young people and adults with care and support needs with the help of Positive Youth Foundation and Grapevine
Liz Gaulton, Director of Public Health at Coventry City Council, added: “The strategy has been developed with contributions from many voluntary, and community groups and organisations. That’s important because it needs all of us to be vigilant and we need to help understand domestic abuse in all its forms and support victims to bring these crimes out into the open.”
You can find a video, specially crafted for the launch, on the Coventry City Council YouTube channel.
Join us from 18th-24th June for Refugee Week in Coventry.
Click on the events below for more details:
A Coventry charity has been awarded the most prestigious award for volunteer groups in the UK.
Positive Youth Foundation (PYF) has received The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) for 2018.
The award is the MBE for volunteer groups and was created by The Queen in 2002 to celebrate the anniversary of her coronation. It is the highest award given to such groups and recognises the outstanding work carried out by organisations in their communities.
PYF is a non-profit organisation and has supported more than 3,000 young people across the city in the past year alone.
It works with more than 30 volunteers who carry out sport, education, music and training sessions as well as a range of other activities.
PYF works with a range of young people in their own communities, including those who find themselves in challenging circumstances.
It is the lead organisation in the Coventry Youth Partnership, which was formed over the past 12 months to carry out key youth work in the city.
The award was announced at an event at Buckingham Palace, with trustees Dean Kavanagh and Amy Foster representing the Foundation on the day.
Dean Kavanagh, chairman of the Positive Youth Foundation, said: “It was an incredible honour to represent PYF and accept the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service on behalf of our team.
“The period during which I have worked with the organisation has been incredibly rewarding and this prestigious and national recognition is a true testament to the fantastic team at PYF.
“All of the team should be incredibly proud. Their commitment, dedication and resilience in the provision of services for our young people makes all of us as trustees incredibly proud and our own work all the more rewarding.
“This award reflects the outstanding commitment to our young people and youth services as a whole.”
An independent assessment committee, chaired by Sir Martyn Lewis CBE, chose the group for the award.
Amy Foster, trustee at PYF, added: “I am thrilled and honoured for the Positive Youth Foundation to be receiving the Queens Award for Voluntary Service.
“The staff and volunteers work tirelessly to enable young people to lead healthier lives and to make better choices for their future.
“As a former youth work professional, I fully understand the need to support young people through challenges that society presents.
“I have witnessed first-hand some of the various activities the charity offers and have been very impressed with the outcomes achieved by the participants.”
Original article credit: Coventry Telegraph
Young people in Coventry have been invited to have their say on the city in a new survey – and have the chance to win pizza while doing so.
The Coventry Youth Survey aims to give 11 to 18-year-olds a voice about issues in the city and wider afield.
The data collected will then be analysed to reveal any potential gaps within youth services.
It is the first time the survey is available online for youngsters to answer, previously just having been handed out in schools.
Those behind the ambitious project are attempting to get 1,100 responses to the survey before it closes in June.
More than 500 responses have already been recieved.
The Positive Youth Foundation (PYF) worked alongside the Coventry City Council Insight team to create the survey, the first Youth Survey in the city since 2013.
What are some of the questions?
It encourages participants to share their views on areas they live in and their thoughts on Coventry becoming UK City of Culture in 2021.
The survey features questions around physical activity, mental health and the impact of social media on day-to-day life.
It runs alongside the Household Survey that aims to get 3,000 responses from adults over 16.
Young people have guided the creation of the survey from the beginning, drafting the questions and advising on how long it should take to complete.
Katie Davis, Programme Coordinator at PYF, said: “It’s the first time the Youth Survey has been completed online and not just within schools, which means that we can gather data that represents a real cross section of young people living in the city.
“It has been vital to consult with young people from the start on this. We facilitated a number of focus groups to ensure the survey was user friendly, and appealed to people their age.
“We really hope that when the data is collected and analysed it reveals how young people feel and identifies any potential gaps where youth provision is needed in the city.
“We can then hold sessions to get the information out there, show young people that their views are truly valuable and their time spent completing the survey hasn’t been wasted.”
Councillor Pat Seaman, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, added: “We’re a young and diverse city, so it’s crucial that we know what our young people think about living in Coventry.
“I’d like to encourage as many young people as possible to take part in the survey and have their voice heard.”
The Coventry Youth Survey 2018 closes on Monday, June 4.
A prize draw takes place on June 8, with four people who have completed the survey winning £25 worth of Pizza Hut Vouchers.
The survey takes 10 minutes to complete and can be found online here.
Here at PYF we are gearing up for a half-term full of activities for young people aged between 8-18.
From Tuesday 29th May – Friday 1st June we shall be running a whole host of activities in five city locations:
Sidney Stringer Sports Facility
Blue Coat CofE School
Primrose Hill Park
Eagle Street Park
Hillfields Young Peoples Centre
Great opportunities for young people to make new friends, stay active and engaged and have a lot of fun. A team of experienced youth workers will be facilitating all sessions.
Please share with your networks to encourage a healthy take up of these free activities.
If you have any questions, regarding any of the activities, please call the team on 02476 791190
Original article credit: Coventry Observer
YOUNG people across Coventry have spoken out about the consequences of carrying and using knives amid worrying knife crime increases.
A total of 300 young people have been involved in a series of sessions run by Positive Youth Foundation (PYF) to voice their opinions on knife crime.
The participants came from across the city, ranging from between age 11 to 19 – taking part in interactive workshops in schools, youth clubs and play areas across Coventry.
Last year, there was a 14 per cent rise in crime across the West Midlands of which offences committed using knives and firearms rose significantly.
West Midlands police recently announced a crackdown on gun and knife violence – which police say has strong connections to organised crime, gangs and drugs.
Sarah, 17, is one of the young people who has been involved in the sessions.
She said: “Too many young people are talking about knife crime, and that is why I am getting involved in this work as I feel I can help to support young people from my community to understand the issue better.
“There are so many different views that I hear. This programme helps me to share facts with people, which is really important right now as many young people are being misinformed by social media about what is and isn’t legal when it comes to weapons.
“I have learnt so much already, from first aid techniques if there is an incident to services that young people can access to stay away from crime.”
Plans are in place to continue delivering the session to more young people.
James, 17, added: We need to talk about knife crime and violence. It’s not straight forward, it’s not just about crime. If people don’t feel like they have a place to go and things to do, they can get dragged in to things.
“Coming to PYF is like another family. People from all over the city, different cultures, all together doing good things.
“We shared our feelings recently with adults from the council and the police. They listened to our views about crime. It’s a good thing that we get to talk.”
The PYF Leadership Academy prepared a group of young people to lead this work, giving their own views and sharing their own personal experiences of knife crime.
Rashid Bhayat, chief executive of the PYF, said: “Knife crime is a serious issue that we have been addressing for many years.
“Whilst Coventry does not have the same level of challenges as similar sized cities, even one incident is one too many.
“We are working very closely with young people, voluntary sector groups, the local authority and the police to ensure that young people in Coventry have a safe place to learn about the devastating consequences of carrying weapons, as well as the impact knife crime has on individuals and society at large.
“Coventry has a proud history of having very positive young people, evidenced again by the hundreds of young people who chose to join this programme to increase their understanding and make their communities a safer place.
“A critical part of this programme was to highlight the role of youth work in addressing some of society’s challenges.
“We must ensure that we seek to invest in services for young people. Over the past few years we have seen many cuts, we must now refocus and understand that without investment, young people will be left at risk.”
The programme was funded by The Home Office anti-knife crime Community Fund.
To find out more about this initiative, contact us today on 02476 791190.
Head Positive is a new social action programme for young people based in Coventry. With an emphasis on engaging underrepresented groups, including those living in the most deprived inner-city wards, the programme focuses on the theme of improving mental health and wellbeing. Although we would like to engage all young people in the programme, there is a particular focus on those who are either in care, or are newly arrived to the country.
The appointed Volunteer Coordinator will be responsible for the creation of volunteering opportunities, recruitment, training, and development of community based projects for young people aged 10 to 18.
Working directly with young people, you will be responsible for enabling them to learn transferable life-skills through training and participation in community-based volunteer roles. The role will include supervising and supporting volunteers in their roles including links to local, regional and national projects. Working in partnership with outside agencies will be a significant requirement in order to meet desired project outcomes.
This post is funded by Comic Relief as part of the #iwill fund.
The closing date for this post is the 31st May 2018.
A week after the visit to the Positive Youth Foundation of HRH Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, we have reflected on exactly what the visit meant to all involved.
Our thoughts flow between a truly humble outlook on our journey, to sheer excitement expressed by the young people and the city at large.
What is absolutely consistent within these emotions though, is the impact that the visit has made on everyone involved with PYF. From young people, trustees, partner organisations and totally independent well-wishers, we have seen an outpour of genuine gratitude that our brand of youth work has had its moment in the spotlight.
The feedback from young people continues to flow in, with recollections of conversations that were had not only with our royal guests, but also key personnel who represented our partner organisations such as the local authority and our funders. To call this a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity is true for some of the young people, but perhaps not for the city and the youth work sector, as we seek to build upon the momentum of the visit to continue to bring high profile opportunities to our city.
We have campaigned for youth work for more years then I care to admit. To see it positioned so highly within important strategic spheres is credit to the way in which our policy leads have recognised the value of youth work. Whilst we are fully aware that much more needs to be done, albeit with reduced resources, we are confident that the future looks positive. The new Coventry Youth Partnership is testament to the local youth sectors’ willingness to come together to provide credible services for young people. Whilst in its infancy, the progress to date has been solid and gives us a strong foundation to pull together with relevant stakeholders.
So the royal visit came and went, but our challenges and opportunities starkly lay ahead of us. Through the commitment of everyone connected with the Positive Youth Foundation and the Coventry Youth Partnership at large, we commit to ensuring that 2018 continues to bring about positive change for young people in our city and beyond.
Positive Youth Foundation
The 16th January will see their Highnesses, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit the UK City of Culture, including Coventry Cathedral, Coventry University and the Positive Youth Foundation.
The foundation specialises in assisting young people across Coventry into positive destinations. This occurs through targeted provision in the areas of education, health, creative and social-engagement programmes.
Recently, the foundation was heavily involved in Coventry’s successful bid to become the UK City of Culture, becoming honorary partners of the bid in the process. As part of the visit, the Royals will be shown how Coventry will be thrust into the national spotlight, with the Positive Youth Foundation showcasing how young people will play their part in this celebration of culture.
The Positive Youth Foundation has been working with young people for over two decades across Coventry. Many young people in challenging circumstances are dealing with issues related to poverty, the lure of gangs and family concerns. All of which can have a profound effect on their future lifestyle choices.
At the Positive Youth Foundation, we work with young people to help them overcome their barriers through targeted provision across multiple areas of engagement. For the young people of Coventry, the chance to talk to their Highnesses is an incredibly inspiring and significant moment for them.
Rashid Bhayat, CEO of Positive Youth Foundation, said: “The Positive Youth Foundation support young people through targeted education, health, creative and social-engagement programmes.
“We work with thousands of young people each year, in particular, when they find themselves in challenging circumstances. It is honour to showcase our work with the Royal guests, where they will see first-hand the support we offer through our mental health, social action and newly arrived young people’s services.
“Their Highnesses will meet groups of inspirational young people who have overcome many barriers and benefited from the support we offer. By meeting directly, we hope that they will gain a greater insight in to the multiple challenges young people face, as well as Coventry’s collaborative response to meeting such needs.
“We are incredibly proud of our city’s young people and our partnership-working, and will showcase its effectiveness during the visit.”