Select Committee on Home Affairs Written Evidence

Annex A


  Barrow Cadbury has a great deal of experience in working with groups who work with young black and Muslim men in the criminal justice system. Examples of groups that we have worked with include the following:

Young Disciples

  Young Disciples has been helping young people in Aston and Handsworth, the areas of Birmingham worst affected by gun crime. Unlike police programmes that focus on tackling the crime rates in the short-term, groups like Young Disciples develop relationships with their target group through an intensive outreach programme. After four years on the street increasing their understanding of the local context and building relationships with local gangs, they can work with even the most troubled young offenders. Once trust is built, they engage on a one-to-one basis, developing conflict resolution skills, helping individuals identify personal goals, and even, where necessary, putting them through anger management courses. They also run activities that will entice their users off the streets—from arts programmes to DJ-ing courses. Importantly, their services are customer-led, available out of office hours, open to all, and provide anonymous services to those with criminal records.

Learning Curve

  The project is based in the south side of Birmingham and provides educational, welfare, training, information and advice and guidance to Black and minority ethnic youngsters. Some of its initiatives are tailored for 16-24 year olds engaged in gun crime. Others tackle anti-social behaviour, substance misuses and sexual health. Each programme is delivered using a variety of techniques including one to one support, detached outreach, and drama workshops. Specific initiatives such as "Stop and Search" are aimed at educating young people about their rights if the police stop them. The project measures its impact on the journey of the young person by setting individual goals at the beginning of the programme. A "SMART" analysis is applied to gauge their strengths, weaknesses and the risks they face. This is reviewed every three months to track the "distance travelled."

Aston Youth Forum

  Aston Youth Forum is an organisation committed to improving local services and opportunities for personal development for young people in Aston in the West Midlands. Their membership is open to all young people, aged 11 to 25. Their Youth Inclusion programmes offer personal development and activities, with the aim of diverting young people away from boredom, anti-social behaviour, drugs and crime. They also run social activities, such as an after-school drop-in meeting place with internet access and learning opportunities, as well as sports groups and competitions. The Forum works through local networks and partnerships. For example, they have worked in conjunction with Motiv8 Youth, where they have set-up a capacity building programme, offering young people access to a "job shop", and accommodation and benefits advice. Significantly, the group work with the young people to help provide them with a voice in the community.

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