Prevention plays a key part of our work and here is where the SOS+ Project comes in. It prevents young people of all backgrounds from becoming exploited and involved in crime and serious youth violence. It offers interactive sessions in schools, pupil referral units and colleges which offer practical tools and knowledge to young people on how to steer clear from violence and crime.
SOS+ evolved in 2010 as a development to our SOS Project. Our approach is delivered by professionally trained individuals who have direct experience of the issues they are talking about and can provide credible,hard-hitting accounts of the realities of these.
It aims to:
• Debunk myths and stereotypes around crime, weapons, gangs and related issues,challenge some of the messages put out on social media and popular culture, deglamourise the lifestyle and expose the realities of negative lifestyle choices such as carrying a weapon.
• Equip young people with practical tools and strategies they can use to build resilience to risks such as negative peer pressure and grooming from gangs. We don’t adopt ‘scared straight’ approaches - we aim to impart young people with real knowledge and insights that will enable them to make the right choices.
• Encourage young people to stay engaged in education and positive activities.
How it works
A series of individually tailored modules cover areas such as knife crime, the realities of prison, sexual exploitation and the impact on victims.We work closely with each school or host prior to the sessions to learn about their needs to ensure we can adapt the sessions to meet them.
The structure is aimed to encourage discussion and interaction. Alongside the talks,role play and interactive DVDs are used.
Our staff can remain in school after sessions to answer any one-to-one questions from pupils and offer further support if needed.
Where we offer SOS+
SOS+ is not confined to London. We recognise that the issues it addresses can spread rapidly and develop footholds in new areas. We can offer the SOS+ sessions anywhere within England and Wales.
Thanks to support from the Police and Crime Commissioner in Norfolk we are offering SOS+ sessions to school children across Norfolk to help raise awareness and prevent involvement in gang activity, county lines and exploitation. This includes offering intensive one-to-one support for young people who are already hidden victims or at a high risk of becoming so. We are also offering sessions to parents and professionals to help them gain a greater understanding of the issues and become more confident at offering support to children and young people.
BRAVE (Building Resilience Against Violence and Extremism) is targeted at schools who have reported concerns around young people becoming radicalised. This is delivered in partnership with Connect Futures – a social enterprise whose specialisms include countering extremism.
LiVVE (Local Intervention: Violence, Vulnerability and Exploitation).
LIVVE targets groups of at risk of gang activity, exploitation or youth violence in the first half of a term over a series of sessions.At the beginning and end of these sessions, the young people are risk assessed and those who remain at a high-risk are offered one-to-one support sessions in the next half term.
Who to contact