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Community Oversight Group


Community Oversight Group

A core principle of the Violence Reduction Network is to work with and for communities (including young people) as we know collaboration and drawing on community insights and expertise will enhance our understanding of violence and its causes whilst improving the effectiveness of local responses.


We aim to realise this through the development of a Community Oversight Group (COG) consisting of eight members from the community who have an established interest and experience within the violence prevention arena, particularly in relation to keeping young people safe.  


The COG directly influence, shape, and scrutinise the VRN’s interventions and projects through regular interactive meetings. It plays a vital role in overseeing the delivery of the VRN’s wider community involvement work with a view to ensuring it continuously develops in line with our community involvement framework. Members of the COG are paid to attend regular meetings led by the Director of the VRN, Grace Strong, and are also supported by other members of the VRN team.



Members of the COG are Leicester, Leicestershire or Rutland residents who have direct lived experience of violence and/or live or work in a community where violence takes place. All members are committed to the VRN’s core principles and key belief that violence is preventable, not inevitable.

To ensure COG members are independent from current VRN activity, new members must not already be involved in any of the following:

  • A delivery role within any VRN interventions.

  • A community leader within the Community Leaders Network.


To ensure that communities most affected by violence are represented, members include people who meet one of the following criteria:

  • Live or work in a community with higher levels of serious violence and/or

  • Have lived experience of being affected by serious violence

We also know that younger adults (18-30 years), people with other protected characteristics and those with experience of the care system are disproportionately impacted by violence so encourage COG membership to reflect these.

The Community Oversight Group began in earnest in May 2023 and  members held their posts for 12 months.



Here is a summary of how the Community Oversight Group have shaped and influenced the work of the VRN during 2023-2024:

  • Supported the on-going development of the Phoenix Programme in relation to design and delivery, with a focus on the engagement between police and participants.

  • Scrutinised the performance of the Phoenix Programme including examining its reach and any issues or risks.

  • Co-produced the definition of ‘communities’, the ‘guiding principles and the ‘approach’ within the Community Partnership Framework.

  • Co-produced activities within the Community Partnership Delivery Plan 2024.

  • Shared insights on ways to improve data sharing amongst communities which has been incorporated within the Preventing Serious Violence Strategy.

Community Oversight Group Members 2023-24

  • Shared insights around the Trauma Informed Self-Assessment Framework, leading to the decision being reached for a community version.

  • Co-produced a Guide for Person Centred Communities.

  • Shared insights around the Sports and Violence Reduction dashboard hosted by StreetGames.

  • Shared insights around developing the reach of the Community Safety Survey across communities most affected by violence.

Application Process for 2024/2025 (Deadline Passed) 

Interested individuals should read through the information pack and complete the short application form - these will be made available below when the application process opens on 16th February 2024. Those that meet the eligibility criteria and can demonstrate how their experience will benefit the work of the VRN will be asked to attend an interview. The interview panel will comprise of staff from the VRN central team and Community Leaders Network. Alongside suitability and eligibility criteria we will also aim to ensure that the membership is as diverse as possible. 

  • The application process for the recruitment of the COG will open on 16th February 2024. You will receive confirmation from the VRN that we have received your application within 48 hours of receipt (excluding weekends).
    If you have been convicted of a criminal offence, please inform the Community and Young Person Involvement Officer Lisa on


  • We will be holding a webinar for those interesting in finding out more about the Community Oversight Group on Tuesday 27th February from 5pm-6pm. To receive the link, email us at

  • The deadline for submissions will be at 23:59 on 14th March 2024.

  • If successful in the first stage, you will be invited to an informal interview with an internal panel consisting of VRN members, a previous COG member, and a member of the Community leaders Network on either 22nd March or the 25th of March 2024. The will take place in person at a location in Leicester City or online if preferred.
    You will be notified of interviews by 15th March 2024 where relevant.


  • Successful and unsuccessful applicants will be informed by 26th March 2024.

  • The induction meeting will take place on 24th April 2024 at 6pm-8pm.

  • The first meeting will take place in May 2024.

If you have any questions at all please email us

Application window now closed!

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