Serious Youth Violence Report

Posted on: 22 November 2019

With incidences of serious youth violence high, what types of services can best support young people who are affected or involved at what is often the worst time of their lives? Following a successful launch event on 21 November 2019, we are delighted to be publishing two reports to share our learning of many years of working with this vulnerable group of children and young people.

The Youth Outreach Project (YOP) at New Horizon Youth Centre has supported over 2,000 children and young people impacted by serious youth violence in the community, prisons and young offender institutions since 2012. The project has pioneered our successful model of working closely with young people on a long term basis, helping them with both their practical and emotional needs.

Our own Standing By Me learning report focuses on the best practice of our successful trauma-informed YOP model. In this approach we focus on long-term support, building a relationship of trust and being alongside them wherever they are. We help them with their mental and emotional health needs, together with practical issues such as safety, employability and housing. Standing By Me highlights two major structural barriers young people face when trying to escape violence and turn their lives around: gaps in mental health provision and getting trapped in homelessness.

The Evaluation of the New Horizon Youth Centre ‘Youth Outreach Project’ by Dr Erin Sanders-McDonagh demonstrates the effectiveness of our work. We have decided to publicise it because of its unique rich evidence base about what services work – and why. It goes behind the headlines to set out what young people tell us about their lives and vulnerabilities. The report shows some of what we have learned from the young people about how we can help them make positive changes in their lives.

As the demand for services for young people caught up in offending, violence and criminal exploitation is growing across London and indeed nationally, we hope that both reports will be useful in helping to achieve the necessary policy changes and in developing the provision and support structures they need and deserve.


Standing By Me: An emotional and practical framework supporting young people impacted by serious youth violence. A learning report (Full Report)

Erin Sanders-McDonagh – Evaluation of the New Horizon Youth Centre ‘Youth Outreach Project’: Final report (Full Report and Executive Summary)

“YOP have given me a new start, helped me to get housed, get a job and gain a bigger picture of life. I’m pleased I know the YOP people because they have helped me stay clear from bad company and given me hope, even when a situation was hopeless.” – Ricky

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