Camden teams up with community partners to tackle youth violence and rough sleeping

A range of voluntary and community organisations have partnered with Camden Council to tackle four key complex social issues facing the borough.

The Camden Community Impacts scheme will use £1.6 million of council funding to bring organisations together in new ways to address youth offending, rough sleeping, emotional health and wellbeing, and supporting older or disabled people in the community.

The investment recognises that our voluntary and community sector has the specialist skills and knowledge to help solve these issues and make a real and lasting impact.

The projects and organisations working on them are:

  • Youth offending
    New Horizon Youth Centre and Project 10/10, along with Kent University, aims to curb rates of reoffending by working intensively with young people who commit the most offences in Camden, both in the community and while they are in custody. The Young Camden Foundation will also partner with organisations such as the Roundhouse, working with our communities to develop innovative ideas to prevent youth crime in Camden through early intervention. This work will feed into the Youth Safety Taskforce, set up to tackle youth violence in the borough.
  • Rough sleeping
    Somers Town Community Association, the St Pancras and Somers Town Living Centre, C4WS Homeless Project and Central Saint Martins will carry out research to better understand the experiences of rough sleepers, giving them a voice and finding new ways to support people off the streets. This will link in with the council’s ‘Routes off the Street’ work to improve specialist services for rough sleepers, including women and girls, and people who identify as LGBT.
  • Emotional health and wellbeing
    Mind in Camden, Rethink Mental Illness, Holy Cross Centre Trust, C4 (Camden Community Centres Consortium) and Voluntary Action Camden will work with our communities to improve understanding of mental health needs in local areas, and develop community-led action plans.
  • Supporting people in the community
    The Centre for Independent Living, a collection of voluntary sector organisations based at the new Greenwood Centre, will help local organisations to access £100,000 funding available for projects that break down barriers older and disabled people face in accessing community facilities.

Fiona Millar, Chair of Young Camden Foundation, said: “Youth violence is rising and we know that inequality and wide-ranging social, cultural and personal experiences lie at the root of this pressing problem. The Community Impacts project provides a unique and significant opportunity to mobilise the community, voluntary organisations and youth services to improve outcomes for children, young people and their families who are affected by crime. The project is a vital injection of resources, which will unleash innovative thinking and energy and the Young Camden Foundation is proud to be part of it.”

Sarah Elie MBE, Executive Director of Somers Town Community Association, said: “Somers Town Community Association is proud to be leading on the rough sleeping project with the St Pancras and Somers Town Living Centre, C4WS Homeless Project and Central Saint Martins, as we place rough sleepers at the heart of a new approach that challenges us to look at the issue with different eyes. The project includes a year-long research piece that seeks to understand what current support is working, as well as what isn't, and more importantly will hear from those actually rough sleeping as to what they need, how we can help them to be heard, and how the wider community can all help a little more.”

Councillor Jonathan Simpson, Cabinet Member for Promoting Culture and Communities, said: “We’re investing £1.6 million in our voluntary and community sector because we know bringing organisations together and taking innovative approaches is key to tackling ingrained, complex issues in Camden such as youth offending and rough sleeping. These organisations have the expertise and local knowledge to get to the heart of longstanding issues that we need to tackle together to reduce inequality, build community resilience, and make sure Camden is a place where nobody gets left behind." 

We will continue to involve organisations and residents in conversations about how we can come together in new ways to make Camden a better borough, as we work towards achieving the ambitions of the Camden 2025 community vision.

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