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VRN Teams Up To Organise Regional Youth Involvement Event

Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland’s Violence Reduction Network (VRN) has teamed up with violence reduction colleagues in the West Midlands and Nottingham to hold a Midlands Hope Hack – a youth involvement event which will be led by young people to find solutions to a fairer society.

Local young people aged between 16 and 25 will join around 100 others at the event which will take place on Thursday July 14 at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry.

A number of local community organisations who work in partnership with the VRN will also be represented at the event, including St Matthews Big Local , YMCA, Somali Community Parent Association, Leicester City in the Community, Women 4 Change and Leicestershire Cares.

The Midlands Hope Hack, is the latest in a series of Hope Hack s held across the United Kingdom as part of an initiative spearheaded by The Hope Collective – a powerful partnership between the Damilola Taylor Trust and a wide range of other public and voluntary sector bodies including the UK Youth Sector and the national network of Violence Reduction Units (VRU).

Shortly before he was murdered in 2006 aged just ten years old, Damilola Taylor said his ambition was to change the world. In 2020, The Hope Collective was established to continue to keep his legacy alive, inspire hope and aspiration amongst young people and give them a voice in how to create real change for young people and communities across the UK.

At the Midlands Hope Hack, young people will lead workshops on different themes relating to the known causes of violence such as ‘Poverty and Inequality’ and ‘Racism and Division’ with the aims of generating solutions which will create a fairer and safer society. These insights will feed into the national ‘Reimagined’ report due to be published next May which will include recommendations for policy makers, cross sectors leaders and the Government.

Award-winning social entrepreneur Stacey-Jade Mason is the keynote speaker at the Midlands Hope Hack which will also include a performance by John Bernard, a Coventry-based poet, rapper and writer.

Grace Strong is Strategic Director of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland VRN and chairs The Hope Collective’s national VRU group.

She said: “We share The Hope Collective’s vision to change the conversation by involving young people and empowering them to debate the issues that matter most to them and effect real and lasting change."

“The aim of the event is to bring together young people with cross-sector leaders and decision makers to explore and develop innovative solutions to societal challenges that are the root causes of violence".

"Young people from our communities will join others to lead and facilitate a serious of workshops that will explore the real issues that are the root cause of violence from poverty and mental health to employment and racism. Their insights will feed into the national ‘Reimagined’ report, part of the biggest needs assessment that the UK has ever seen. Alongside a series of other Hope Hacks from across the UK, it will provide our local young people with the opportunity to influence change on a national level with the aim of making the UK a fairer and more positive place to live and grow up in.”

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