April 5, 2022. News
VRU Strategy Board meets to discuss 22/23 budget proposals
The VRU’s most senior partnership meeting, the Strategy Board, met today under the chairmanship of Assistant Chief Constable Tim de Meyer. A critical meeting, coming just days before the VRU must submit its application for grant funding for the coming year.
The Strategy Board brings together the VRU’s core members, with representatives of the nine local violence reduction partnerships which span the Thames Valley. In addition, representation from the NHS, Office for Health Inequalities & Disparities (OHID), education, probation, the voluntary sector, youth justice and community representatives.
Each year, the VRU must submit an application for its core grant funding to the Home Office, against an indicative allocation and in response to technical guidance which sets out ministerial priorities and areas for investment and delivery.
Last week, the Home Office confirmed that the Thames Valley VRU would be allocated over £5m for the next three years of core grant, broken down into £2m for 2022/2023, then £1.5m for 2023/24 and £1.5m for 2024/25. See further information here.
The VRU must now develop its application, setting out a proposed plan of activity which delivers upon the VRU’s core function of leading the partnership response to serious violence, while also investing into specific intervention activity to drive system change and a public health approach to tackling violence.
Stan Gilmour, Director of the VRU, presented to partners the areas of proposed activity and discussed the local need and opportunities to work together. There was broad support, ahead of a more detailed budget plan being circulated. Proposed areas of investment included (but not limited to):
- Continuing the VRU’s Hospital Navigator programme – supporting young people into mentorship and other services when they are admitted to A&E under “risky behaviour” circumstances.
- Developing a similar model, but with Custody Navigators working in the same ways with young people coming into police custody.
- Investing in a wider range of sports interventions for those vulnerable to violence, including the role of a Sports Navigator function able to link services together.
- Developing a comprehensive schools bystander training initiative. Through this, provide support to young people so they can play an active role in keeping each other safe and challenging inappropriate behaviours.
- Training in trauma informed approaches for the range of Navigators.
- Training for community-led researchers to help embed the voice of young people and our communities at the heart of local plans.
- Continuing to fund nine Violence Reduction Coordinators, increasing capacity in each of the local partnerships
- A programme of focused deterrence, working with young people at the highest risk of offending to give them routes out of offending.
Stan Gilmour, VRU Director, said: “The core function of the VRU is to invest in system change which has longer term sustainability, we are not here to prop up local provision or create situations of cliff-edge funding.
“We have a robust operating model which involves our many local partners and increasingly we want to involve young people and our wider communities throughout this work. Our core funding will sustain this way of working.
“We also invest in intervention activities where there is an evidence-base that they are effective. We will target these activities at the areas where violence is most prevalent and towards those cohorts of young people who are most at risk, and who post a risk of offending.
“The Strategy Board membership were broadly supportive of our proposed direction of travel and we can now focus on our application so we can move to delivery as soon as possible.”
The VRU must finalise its application for submission by 19 April.
You can learn more about the way the VRU’s governance and operating model functions on our website here: https://www.tvvru.co.uk/who-we-are/vru-governance/