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Council earmarks £4.5m a year for young people as Newham youth safety board releases first report

PUBLISHED: 12:00 17 December 2019

Youth Safety Board member Keisha McLeod with co-chairs Newham Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz and Kings College Hospital clinical director of major trauma Duncan Bew . Picture: Newham Council

Youth Safety Board member Keisha McLeod with co-chairs Newham Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz and Kings College Hospital clinical director of major trauma Duncan Bew . Picture: Newham Council

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The council has proposed spending £13.5million on young people's services over three years as the first report by Newham's youth safety board is released.

The report was published ahead of the cabinet sitting tonight (December 17) to consider the council's draft budget proposals for the years from April 2020 to March 2023.

These budget proposals include dedicating £4.5million a year to supporting children and young people, which will help to fund new Youth Zones, provide extra support for health and mental well-being, and programmes to keep teenagers safe.

The youth safety board (YSB) is a partnership between the council, young people, police, health and education services, and families who've experienced the effects of crime and violence.

Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz, who created the board in March, said: "Newham should be a place where every child and young person feels safe, thrives and can reach their full potential through accessing all sorts of enriching opportunities.

"With the help of young people, residents, family members and our partners on the (YSB), we've come up with an ambitious and positive agenda which I am committed to implementing."

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One recommendation of the YSB report is to provide early intervention for young people who present at hospital emergency departments or to the police, following assault or arrest.

Kings College Hospital clinical director for trauma and acute surgery Duncan Bew, who co-chairs the YSB with Ms Fiaz, said: "As a trauma surgeon, I see the consequences of violence for Londoners and their families on every shift.

"Where models around the world have been successful it is because they have community credibility and highlight the opportunities in the community for young people to thrive."

Priorities highlighted in the report include: reducing school exclusions; making public spaces and public transport safer for young people; and providing more support for children who experience a difficult start in life.

Another priority is making available better information for young people and their families about seeking support, engaging in positive activities, and how to access help in the event of a serious incident.

Board member Keisha McLeod, whose 14-year-old son Corey Junior Davis was murdered in Newham, said: "This report is the start of what is necessary.

"It shows the youth we care, we are interested in their opportunities for their future and we are willing to invest in them."

Visit www.newham.gov.uk/youthsafetyboard to view the full report.

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