Our Rescue & Response Gender Consultant Lucia headed to Ealing. Here are her reflections on the Tackling Youth Violence Network event.
"Today I attended the Ealing's Tackling Youth Violence Network event in West London which was hosted by the Young Ealing Foundation. They have created a really productive space to discuss the issues young people are facing with regard to youth violence, to look at what support exists and to identify the gaps in services.
The network included attendees across a range of sectors, statutory and voluntary, and I'm grateful to have met many passionate and skilled professionals. Two inspirational young people attended and shared their experiences of interactions with professionals and their challenges and successes. I spoke with an incredibly brave young woman who put so powerfully into words the impact that one professional can have on a young person's life, both positively and negatively - highlighting the vital importance of system change work! I was glad to be able to talk about Abianda, the amazing work our practitioners do and to give an overview of the Rescue & Response project.
There were some really positive conversations had with other attendees about the invisibility of girls exploited by 'gangs'. This led to my being invited to talk at a council team meeting. I was also asked about the training Abianda delivers, any possibilities of partnership working, and had enquiries about our work with schools. I found the meeting so productive. It was so beautiful to be face to face again and I hope there will be more of the same in the months to come."