STOP & REACH Project Continues Through COVID-19

MAV UK ended the Looking Back Moving Forward Project on 26th October 2019 with a community celebration event. The event launched the film Year Zero. The film chronicles the 20-year history of the charity in a new workshop called STOP & REACH. The workshop provides help and support for local services facing issues related to the growing concerns of knife crime. STOP & REACH was delivered at local high schools in Manchester and for the Bradford project Aunty Knife, led by the charity Neesie.

MAV UK COVID-19 Response

The feedback from the film and the workshop was excellent. The film provided beneficiaries with an emotional connection to the experiences faced by family members after murder. One young person said, “it will make you think twice before thinking of carrying a knife.” The film provided the young people with a greater knowledge of the impact of knife crime on families. The workshop also allows participants to review evidence of knife crime on communities at large.

MAV UK’s COVID-19 Extending Services for Young People at Hulme Hall.

COVID-19 Pandemic has put a holt on some aspects of the delivery of STOP & REACH. MAV UK are now working with other local groups to ensure services for young people continue safely. We have supported Jet Black Dance Academy, as they move most sessions online or in the outside areas at MAV UK Hall. Greater Manchester Youth Network, worked with MAV UK at the start of pandemic and were able to adjust their Citizenship programme in August 2020 to ensure it was inline with COVID-19 social distancing guidance. Mr D Healthy Body Healthy Minds funded by Children in Need and more recently Hulme Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Programme continuing to deliver direct services for young people, while adhering to social distancing guideline set out by the government. This has allowed the STOP & REACH ethos of ensure pro-social activities for local young people continues.

MAV UK supported Sierra Leone Community Group in their hot food provision for local people in the community. The Sierra Leone Group were left without support during the first stage lockdown. MAV UK open the doors of Hulme Hall and the newly fitted kitchen to provide freely delivered cook food to local people across Manchester and as far as Bury.

Once restriction is lessened, we will re-establish work with Greater Manchester Police, developing work with newly recruited police officers using aspects of STOP & REACH. The aim of STOP & REACH is to provide specialists support for Children & Young People (CYP) emotionally and mentally. We hope local police will use the service to refer families and CPY who are at risk of knife crime.

The STOP & REACH Project is a direct intervention which provides an alternative approach to the police stop and search, which has a focus on challenging possible criminal activity. The STOP & REACH intervention, looks at engaging young people before they get involved with crime, introducing pro-social activities. STOP & REACH will provide CYP’s with alternatives behaviours which make positive contribution to the local community. We are pleased part of the 65 million given to community groups across England in 2019 from National Lottery Community Fund went to the STOP & REACH project. STOP & REACH has also had additional funding from High Sheriff Police Trust and Home Office Fund for Knife Crime and more recently Government COVID-Pandemic Funding.

MAV will invest in professional services to review and encourage funding opportunities for PHASE TWO development of MAV’s Community - Hulme Hall. MAV are also continuing to work towards achieving the PQASSO quality mark.

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