Every year, thousands of young people find themselves in emergency departments as victims of serious youth violence. Redthread Youth Limited is a charity that supports vulnerable young people. Their Youth Violence Intervention Programme runs in hospital emergency departments in London, in partnership with the major trauma network. The innovative service has revolutionised the support available to young victims of violence.  

Redthread has been working across London for the last 12 years. However, youth violence is a national problem, and Nottingham and Birmingham have been identified as areas that could particularly benefit from the programme. 

Between 2012 and 2016, there were more than 10,000 assault-related injuries presenting at the Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham, with 463 of these in people aged under 25. In Birmingham, 335 victims of assault under the age of 25 presented at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital between October 2015 and September 2016.

This project will implement the Youth Violence Intervention Programme in Nottingham and Birmingham. Youth workers will be embedded in hospitals to intervene with young people affected by violence, by delivering the intervention alongside existing clinical teams. 

Redthread takes a holistic approach to understanding the young person’s needs and aims to prevent further attendances at hospital. The project team recognises that while clinicians are able to deliver critical medical care to young people, due to rising pressures they are often unable to find out more about what has brought that young person to hospital.  

The approach is based on the idea of the ‘teachable moment’; that the moment of intense crisis, when the young person is nursing a serious injury in the daunting environment of a busy hospital, can be a catalyst for pursuing positive change.

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