London’s Violence Reduction Unit is focused on addressing the complex causes which lie behind young people becoming involved with, or being victims of, violent crime. That’s why we are investing in The Social Switch Project, which supports young people in building their creative and digital skills and which will continue to help many more young Londoners reach their true potential.
Lib Peck, Director of London’s Violence Reduction Unit
We build trust with our partners, getting to know them and solving problems together.
Our work is outreach based. We embed ourselves in local communities and tailor support to local need.
We design services with the people we’re supporting. They are experts in what they need; we listen and build new ideas together.
The Social Switch Project is switching the narrative on how social media’s relationship to youth violence is understood, tackled and solved. The Social Switch Project is an innovative three-pronged initiative to tackle youth violence: training frontline professionals on the challenges and opportunities of an online world, training young people in social media management to access digital careers, and awarding grants to grassroots community organisations.
I want to use it as an opportunity to inspire other young people, especially from Wandsworth where I’m from, to see that you can be successful regardless of your circumstances. Taking on this role is not just about me furthering my career, it’s about me growing a following and platform to inspire young people.
Anthony Owuso-Ansah, The Social Switch Project - Social Media Training Participant
Digital Edge sees Catch22 find and recruit candidates aged 18 to 30 who face a range of challenges – from gender and ethnicity barriers, homelessness, and mental health issues, to school exclusion and disability. The programme supports these individuals to access digital roles with local employers within Microsoft’s network of customers and partners.
Leon Wilson, aged 22, lacked direction. He was unemployed and had low confidence when job searching which became a barrier to his career progress. No one in his family or network had knowledge about the IT industry, which left him feeling isolated. Through taking part in Digital Edge, Leon had the opportunity to complete virtual work experience with a start-up, where he developed his technical knowledge, completed IT courses and took part in telephone screenings. With his new-found confidence and self-belief, Leon shows great potential and is eager to be put forward to potential employers.
These disadvantaged young people are often exactly the people who, with the right help, could have hugely successful careers in the sector. They are the people we must make sure don’t get left behind in a world increasingly dominated by technology. We see their potential and I hope that what we learn through this partnership with Catch22 will help others see it too.”
Hugh Milward, Director of Corporate External and Legal Affairs at Microsoft UK
Delivered by Catch22 and The Children’s Society, and funded by The Clothworkers’ Foundation, the Bright Light programme focuses on supporting care leavers into apprenticeships. Young people leaving care often have to suddenly become independent adults; this programme supports them at a critical point in transition to find a supported career. We gather evidence to better understand the barriers they face, real and perceived, and support young people into apprenticeship placements. We work collaboratively with young people to develop solutions, share learnings and ultimately influence national policy.
[The Career Coach] has been such a support in my first interview, funding interview clothing and enabling me to get my foot in the door. The Career Coach was able to give me reassurance when I’ve been anxious, takes an interest in my family and [ensures] that I am making the most of the rights I have as a care leaver.
SHARAN BRIGHT LIGHT CANDIDATE