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Peer Power and the NHS London Violence Reduction Programme

Peer Power is an empathy led charity that brings the voices and insight of young people who have experienced services across the health, justice and social care sectors into their design.

They focus on individual empowerment, bettering systems through co-production, and future building.

The NHS London Violence Reduction Programme has been working in collaboration with Peer Power for the past two years. The organisation trained 12 diverse Peer Power Experts with lived experience who attend monthly youth-led working groups exploring key themes that feed into the programme. The contributions from young partners – and Peer Power colleagues supporting them – has been invaluable. We would like to share some of these highlights in the illustration below.

Young Partners played an integral role in the development of our psychological model of care in the community by being members of the Expert Reference Group alongside leading health and social care professionals. The outcome was a £9.7m investment to pilot the model across three London Integrated Care Systems. The successful areas are known as the London Vanguards.

The specialist Violence Reduction Social Prescribing Pathway and In-Hospital Violence Reduction Services Implementation Guide received input from young partners through a dedicated focus group. Their feedback resulted in language changes and a section in the Social Prescribing guidance outlining helpful tips for professionals to note when engaging young people affected by violence.

Young Partners held membership in the Violence Reduction Clinical and Professionals Network, contributing to discussions and providing feedback on ongoing programme delivery.

Video clips on effective communication techniques to engage young people and insights on unconscious bias were included in the virtual resource. Rico, one of the young experts in attendance, shared:

‘That day really helped me as a person, because before that I had no trust in the NHS when they were working with young people. I felt they didn’t really care about us and were just telling us what to do. Seeing the group of professionals there doing something to put young people at the heart of their work gave me hope.’

Rico

Young Partners have been involved in procurement processes from start to finish as the programme has commissioned organisations to support the delivery of models of care. Their voices and experiences have been key to ensuring the implementation of these models are relevant to young people and their families.

The Violence Reduction Outreach Programme, which has been supporting the expansion of YourStance, used the expertise of Young Partners to co-develop a psychological safety guide for young people receiving bleed control and CPR training. They also supported the recruitment drive of new volunteers for the organisation.

More recently, Young Partners led six community engagement workshops that explored conversations with young people around the public health approach to addressing violence affecting their communities. i-Statements were generated from these workshops and are being used to inform Key Performance Indicators for the London Vanguards.

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