Greater Manchester’s multi million pound Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) has been bolstered by a community coordinator with more than two decades experience working with young people across the city-region.

Michael Phipps has been appointed to help drive forward the VRU’s community-led approach to tackling serious violence. This includes the rollout of a £500,000 pilot to allow residents and VSCE organisations to develop their own approaches and solutions to the issue. This will be launched in six Greater Manchester districts later in the year.

Michael has 18 years’ experience in youth and community work in and around Greater Manchester. Some of his past work includes designing, delivering and managing targeted intervention services for young people who are at risk of child criminal exploitation.

His appointment follows the launch of Greater Manchester’s Serious Violence Action Plan last month, which outlines a bold and ambitious approach to tackling violence based on the public health model and putting communities at its heart.

Michael said: “I’m looking forward to working with communities across Greater Manchester to reduce violence, build resilience and create opportunities.

“Improving outcomes for our young people is my main driver and I believe that early intervention is key to creating these positive outcomes. Partner working is essential in recognising vulnerable young people and coming together to safeguard and disrupt their exploitation.”

The Greater Manchester VRU, set up in October 2019, works closely with academics, health and education professionals and community leaders, to provide insight into the problem of violence in our city-region and to work with communities to provide solutions.

It has so far received a total of £14.67m through the Home Office Serious Violence Fund, which also provides ‘surge funding’ to increase the police response to violent crime.

Deputy Mayor for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire, Bev Hughes, said: “I’m pleased to welcome Michael to the VRU to support the ground-breaking work that the team are doing to tackle the complex issue of serious violence, which blights the lives of victims, families and communities.

“Our communities are at the heart of the work done by our VRU and he will be a key part of the team in changing the lives of many across Greater Manchester.

“We want to stop violence from happening in the first place, but for those people that are already involved in violence we want to stop that from escalating and to reduce the harm it causes and I believe Michael’s role will strongly support this.”

Michael was appointed to the unit by Bolton CVS, on behalf of 10GM. Two members of Greater Manchester’s Youth Combined Authority also took part in the recruitment panel, bringing a valuable contribution to the process.

Youth Combined Authority member Amaan Iqbal, said: “I would like to congratulate Michael on starting his new role and wish him all the best. The community coordinator is a key role in reducing violence in Greater Manchester. Violence isn’t a standalone problem with one solution, it is has many underlying issues.

“Young people face many issues, which can make them turn to violence. These young people need some support to help them get back on the right path. Therefore, this role and the support that Michael will provide with the VRU is imperative.”

For further information about the VRU follow @GM_VRU on Twitter.


Article Published: 17/07/2020 12:13 PM