The Young Foundation is proud to announce its continued role as national partner in the Peer Action Collective (PAC) programme, delivering training and support to a network of young people as they work to make their communities safer, fairer places.
This network prioritises support for young people with experiences of violence, especially those who are over represented in the criminal justice system – including Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic young people, and those with experience of the care system.
Since the launch of PAC in 2021, the programme has seen more than 6,800 young people tackle issues affecting their local communities, from influencing violence reduction strategies to creating more spaces and opportunities for their peers.
Following this initial two-year funding phase, a further £7.5m investment was announced in March 2023, funded by the Youth Endowment Fund, the #iwill Fund (a joint investment between The National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport) and the Co-op group. This further investment will enable PAC to drive greater young-person-led participation and change, and positively impact the lives of more than 11,000 young people in the next five years, through strategies and practices to address serious youth violence and its root causes.
Local solutions to local challenges
The Young Foundation will support seven delivery partners across England and Wales to train young people with lived experience of violence as peer researchers, social action leads and changemakers. These young people will then work together to design, carry out and analyse new research, and turn their insights into action.
The research will initially explore local challenges and solutions in three key areas:
- Positive activities and how these can protect children from violence
- Schools and how they can be more supportive environments to improve attendance and prevent exclusions
- Trusted adults and how they can play a greater and more effective role in the lives of young people to protect or prevent their involvement in violence.
This work will lead to a national survey, co-designed with young people, for young people.
By 2028, PAC has huge ambitions for young people to drive real-world change, informed by a rich understanding of 10- to 25-year-olds involved in, or at risk of, violence. The programme will facilitate long-term, sustainable social action on a local and national scale, in partnership with key decision-makers, working towards systemic change where young people are supported to live lives free from violence.
Helen Goulden OBE, Chief Executive of The Young Foundation, says:
“By supporting young people to participate in meaningful change in their communities, Peer Action Collective’s youth-led approach has already shown huge potential to reduce experiences of violence and shape a fairer future. As we launch into a further five-year programme, I am genuinely excited about what might be achieved and the power of younger people to effect the change they want to see in the world around them.”
Read peer researcher Cameron’s account of his experiences with the Peer Action Collective. Now Deputy Lead Co-ordinator for PAC Cymru, Cameron will be supporting a new cohort of young people to make positive changes in their communities.