How social enterprise can reduce gang violence
From unleashing potential through sport to raising aspirations, private sector solutions have significant impact on youth crime
The Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations questioned the Government’s Big Society policy for ignoring charities as a key stakeholder in the implementation of public sector reforms.
If charities are being left out of the reform debate or have their hands tied as to the level of resources available, there is great potential for social enterprises to deliver public services to fill the gap.
According to Social Enterprise UK, significant numbers of social enterprises are concentrated in the most deprived communities in the UK. These organisations are therefore ideally placed to address issues of gang violence, creating bespoke solutions which don’t depend on public funding.
The Guardian blog highlights two social enterprises working to provide private sector solutions to gang violence.
Approach 1: Unleash the potential through sport
Social Enterprise LUTA help support young people living with violence by the following:
· Boxing and martial arts training and competition
· Personal development and education
· Youth support services
· Job training and work access
• Youth leadership
According to an impact study conducted by the University of East London in November 2012, 85% of participants in the charity’s work said they are less likely to become a member of a gang and 42% stopped their gang affiliations. One participant confirms, “if you have a lot of stress or if you have a lot of anger, boxing is a great way to get rid of that excess stress and anger.”
Approach 2: Raising aspirations of young people
Raise the Youth Foundation is a social enterprise that aims to bring people, partnerships, communities and industry together to work with youths and invest in the future. The organisation works with 13 to 24-year-olds to develop and provide education, training and employment opportunities. Apprenticeships and job placements are created by offering services which include gardening, cleaning, web design, painting and decorating – and the foundation is an accredited education provider. These services are complemented with support and one-to-one mentoring for gang members.
Full article available here.