Mayor announces record additional £14.5m investment in Violence Reduction Unit’s flagship approach to tackle violence in key hotspots

Mayor announces record additional £14.5m investment in Violence Reduction Unit’s flagship approach to tackle violence in key hotspots

  • Sadiq to fund expansion of VRU’s community-led MyEnds programme from eight areas to 11 to deliver youth work and preventative activities
  • Better Bethnal Green – MyEnds to lead approach in Bethnal Green (east and west wards) – Tower Hamlets
  • Evidence shows backing communities and a neighbourhood approach is crucial in tackling violence and providing positive opportunities for young people

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today announced he is investing a further record £14.5 million in a major expansion of his Violence Reduction Unit’s (VRU) flagship prevention programme to tackle violence. New funding will be used to expand the VRU’s MyEnds programme and its neighbourhood-focused approach to every borough in London, for the first time ever.

The Mayor’s increased investment will ensure the successful programme continues and expands into a community-led approach in 11 of the top neighbourhoods affected by violence. From next month, groups of local youth leaders, grassroots organisations, young people, and parents and carers, will begin delivering youth work, positive activities and targeted interventions, to support young people and to drive down and prevent violence.

The Better Bethan Green (BBG) – MyEnds network in  Bethnal Green (east and west wards) – Tower Hamlets was successful and has secured £800,000 investment from the VRU to lead its community-led approach locally.

The VRU’s successful award-winning MyEnds programme brings networks of local people together to deliver meaningful change. Evidence shows that a community-led approach, by those who know their area and its challenges best, is the most effective way to prevent violence. MyEnds provides communities with the tools and resources to deliver their own prevention measures, including support networks for parents and carers, after-school activities, youth work in neighbourhoods and youth clubs, as well as sport, music, arts and drama activities. It provides a real focus on tackling violence at a hyper-local, neighbourhood level, with local people and communities driving prevention and diversionary work in areas they live and know best.

Over the next two years, targeted investment from the VRU will support the Better Bethnal Green – MyEnds network to tackle violence through prevention in neighbourhoods and estates. Through partnership, it will deliver:

  • Targeted street work
  • Crime educational prevention programmes
  • Centre based youth work, sports & diversionary activities
  • Targeted 1:1 Interventions and family support
  • Schools based programmes
  • Training & Employability support
  • Capacity building and small grants for local groups

The consortium will work alongside others in Barking and Dagenham, Brent, Croydon, Haringey, Islington, Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark and Tower Hamlets. Funding will also help two existing consortiums, in Newham and Hackney, to continue their community-led approach. Every other borough will receive a share of a £6.7m funding pot for their own local preventative activities.

Today’s funding announcement builds on the work of the MyEnds programme which has operated in eight neighbourhoods over the last three years. Since it was set up in April 2021, MyEnds has:

  •  Supported more than 50,000 young people and community members
  •  Delivered targeted interventions and activities to more than 48,000 young people
  •  Held nearly 600 community events each year
  •  Provided small pots of funding for almost 70 grassroots organisations to carry out youth work and prevention measures this year alone

This community-led approach has contributed to tackling risk factors associated with violence and exploitation, including improved mental health and wellbeing of young people, better engagement with support services and improved behaviour and engagement in education.

Since the Mayor set up the VRU, the first of its kind in the country, in 2019, it has invested in 350,000 interventions, opportunities and diversionary activities for young people most affected by violence.

Alongside the MyEnds community-led approach, this includes support for families, work to keep young people in education, and funding youth work in schools, neighbourhoods and youth clubs, in sport, in hospitals and police custody suites.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:

“Tackling violence is my top priority. I’m committed to building a safer London by being tough on violence and tough on its complex causes.

“I said on my re election as Mayor, that the next generation of Londoners would be the focus of my third term as Mayor, and my first major announcement in my first week is about providing a step change in the support we provide young Londoners who need it the most.

“I have always been clear that we will never be able to arrest our way out of violence, which is driven by poverty, deprivation and lack of opportunity.”

“This major City Hall funding boost will help my Violence Reduction Unit expand its MyEnds programme across London and help communities to target interventions through youth work, mentoring and after-school activities, in the neighbourhoods in greatest need of support.”

Lib Peck, Director of London’s Violence Reduction Unit, said:

“Violence knows no boundary and it doesn’t affect entire boroughs or wards. It’s often concentrated in neighbourhoods and small pockets of roads, in areas of greatest deprivation and poverty.

“MyEnds puts communities at the heart of solutions to tackling violence and providing opportunity for local people.

“The Mayor’s funding will help us not only invest in new networks in key neighbourhoods affected by violence, but will also allow us to take and expand our community-led approach to every borough in the city.”

Notes to editors:


MyEnds programme provides communities with the support they need to deliver locally-designed interventions.

Alongside this, the VRU is investing £6.7m of its £14.5m MyEnds budget in the remaining 21 boroughs, for local authorities to work with community and grassroots partners to lead local intervention and diversionary activities to tackle violence in neighbourhoods.

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