VRU – Community Engagement programme CV-19 variation

Reference code: 
PCD 759
Date signed: 
12 May 2020
Authorisation name: 
Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor, Policing and Crime

Executive summary

The VRU has a budget of £15 million and over the past year the Unit has consulted with and listened to communities about what they view our key challenges to be across London, and what needs to be done. Based on learning and consultation over last 12 months, the VRU now has placed its greatest focus into five key priority areas:

•    Youth Work 
•    Education, Schools and Settings 
•    Early Intervention for Violence Prevention 
•    Neighbourhoods & Local Violence Reduction Plans 
•    Young People – giving them their voice

Following DMPC approval to allocate funding to develop a Youth Practitioners’ Leadership Programme the Unit published an Invitation to Apply seeking an organisation or partnership with the relevant experience to design and deliver a suitable training and development programme for youth practitioners. 

A tender process has concluded and the Unit has selected a provider with the intention of commencing work in May 2020. 

Separately, funding was allocated to Power The Fight in a previous DMPC decision to develop a co-created, culturally competent and accessible therapeutic service for families and peers affected by traumatic loss as a result of serious youth violence. The programme was due to begin delivery in partnership with a local school, bereaved families and young people in Lewisham. Due to school closures in relation to COVID-19 the delivery was unable to begin as planned.

In the context of COVID-19 the Violence Reduction Unit recognises that in these challenging circumstances organisations may need to revise their approach to achieve contractual outcomes. 

•    This proposed decision is seeking approval to award the successful provider of the Youth Practitioners’ Programme an additional development grant of £50,000 to adapt plans and support the delivery and mobilisation plans under current circumstances. The VRU accepts uncertainty around how long the lockdown lasts, we accept a phased approach and this decision is therefore also requesting approval to extend the delivery timeframe of 12 months by a further six months, with flexibility on both sides to extend further by mutual agreement.

•    The decision is also seeking approval to award Power The Fight a grant of £13,283.03 to adapt plans and continue to deliver the programme until July 2020.
 

Recommendation

The Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime is recommended to approve:
1.    The allocation of £50,000 additional development grant to the successful provider of the Youth Practitioners’ Leadership Programme, increasing the allocation to this programme to a total of £550,000.
2.    Note that the Director of the VRU has awarded the grant agreement for the Youth Practitioners’ Leadership Programme to provider London Youth under delegated authority contained in decision PCD 673. 
3.    The allocation of an additional £13,283.03 to Power The Fight to continue work on the Trauma Informed Research, increasing the allocation to this provider to a total of £63,283.
 

Non-confidential facts and advice to the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime (DMPC)

1.    Introduction and background

1.1.    The VRU wants to add value and complement existing activity taking place across London’s youth sector and to provide greater support to youth sector professionals, as they so often are the individuals young people turn to for support and in moments of crisis. 

1.2.    Any successful prevention and early intervention agenda to reduce violence will include youth workers. They are well placed, they have the right engagement skills. They have local knowledge and are connected to their local areas. They are trusted by young people.

Youth Practitioners’ Leadership Programme

1.3.    This decision outlines and requests DMPC approval to approve the allocation of up to £50,000 to be awarded to support the implementation stages of the Unit’s Youth Practitioners’ Leadership Programme.

1.4.    Separately, the decision requests that the timeframes for extension to the delivery period of 12 months is noted.

Power The Fight

1.5.    The decision requests DMPC approval for the allocation of £13,283.03 to be awarded to Power the Fight to continue the development of a co-created, culturally competent and accessible therapeutic service for families and peers affected by traumatic loss as a result of serious youth violence.

1.6.    The Unit recognises that in the context of COVID-19 organisations may need to revise their approach to achieve contractual outcomes. Both development grants will enable the successful provider to adapt the programme and delivery outcomes to this new operating environment.

2.    Issues for consideration

This decision covers two proposed areas of extension:

Youth Practitioners’ Leadership Programme

2.1.    In the previously approved DMPC decision (PCD 673) £500,000 was allocated towards developing a pan-London leadership and training programme for London’s youth sector professionals.

2.2.    We are supporting the development of a training and development programme for London’s talented youth professionals after engaging with groups to find out how the VRU could really benefit and support the sector. The aim is to help them develop their careers and support the next generation.

2.3.    The programme will be developed by a consortium of specialist providers, with the programme of work commencing in May 2020.

2.4.    Following a tender process the Unit has now evaluated and moderated the submissions received and selected a provider.

2.5.    In the context of COVID-19 the Violence Reduction Unit recognises that in these challenging circumstances organisations may need to revise their approach to achieve contractual outcomes.

2.6.    This proposed decision is seeking approval to award the successful provider an additional development grant of £50,000 to adapt plans and support the delivery of the Unit’s flagship Youth Practitioners’ Leadership Programme under current circumstances.

Power The Fight

2.7.    Power The Fight was allocated £50,000 in a previous approved CEO decision (CEOD 04-2019) to develop a co-created, culturally competent and accessible therapeutic service for families and peers affected by traumatic loss as a result of serious youth violence, in partnership with a local school, bereaved families and young people in Lewisham.

2.8.    Power The Fight had completed the planning process and were ready to begin interviews and school workshops prior to COVID-19.  The initial grant period was January to March 2020, extended to April 2020.

2.9.    Due to school closures the workshops and interviews with students and teachers could not be delivered.  Family members and young people are not able to travel to be interviewed in person. Power The Fight plan to develop methods to engage young people digitally and use online interviews with young people and family members.

2.10.    The proposed decision is also seeking approval to award Power The Fight £13,293.03 to adapt plans and continue the delivery of a trauma informed programme which they were unable to do due to current circumstances. 

3.    Financial Comments

3.1.    Total funding requested for the two extensions totals £63,293 and will be funded from within the existing 20/21 VRU commissioning budget.

3.2.    The additional development grant for the Youth Practitioners’ Leader Programme of £50,000 will be used for approximately three months of extra warm up work and general sector support. This would be above and beyond the main grant and will support youth work leaders during a very challenging period, prior to delivery of the planned programme. 

3.3.    Specific activity will include monthly open forum network sessions, general specialist training sessions, additional communications support, convening and mapping, digital programme develop and contingency and mentoring costs.

3.4.    The additional £13,283.03  grant to Power The Fight will be used for approximately four months of delivery work and a final evaluation report. This will allow Power The Fight to complete the revised programme plan considering COVID-19. Specific costs are related to staff salaries, digital engagement with young people and families and a final evaluation report.

4.    Legal Comments

4.1.    The activities set out in this decision are in accordance with MOPAC’s responsibilities under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (formerly under the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011) to award grants to secure the reduction of crime and disorder in London. 

4.2.    Section 143 (1) (b) of the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 provides an express power for MOPAC, as a local policing body, to provide or commission services "intended by the local policing body to help victims or witnesses of, or other persons affected by, offences and antisocial behaviour." Section 143(3) specifically allows MOPAC to make grants in connection with such arrangements and any grant may be made subject to any conditions that MOPAC deems appropriate. 

4.3.    The proposals set out in this decision support MOPAC's duties and are in accordance with MOPAC’s powers under that section. 

4.4.    Paragraph 4.8 of the MOPAC’s Scheme of Consent and Delegation provides the DMPC with delegated power to:

•    Approve bids for grant funding made and all offers made of grant funding; and/or where appropriate a strategy for grant giving. 

•    The strategy for the award of individual grants and/ or the award of all individual grants whether to secure or contribute to securing crime reduction in London or for other purposes. 

4.5.    Further to this, section 6 of the Scheme of Delegation states:

•    MOPAC staff and officers are authorised to exercise decision making responsibilities within their own area of responsibility, subject to the delegation of the relevant Director.

5.    Commercial Issues 

5.1.    For transparency, the original award of £50,000 to Power The Fight was singularly applied – this additional value would augment that award total, please see CEOD 04-2019 for previous grounds for award.

6.    Public Health Approach 

6.1.    The spend plan takes a public health approach to tackling violence, which means looking at violence not as isolated incidents or solely a police enforcement problem. Instead, this approach looks at violence as a preventable consequence of a range of factors, such as adverse early-life experiences, or harmful social or community experiences and influences.

7.    GDPR and Data Privacy 

7.1.    A full Data Protection Impact Assessment will be completed by all providers if required as part of the mobilisation for the services, to ensure that all delivery is fully compliant with the requirements of the GDPR.

7.2.    All contracts and grant agreements will include clear provisions relating to compliance in this area, and in relation to the processing of personal data. These terms have been drafted following consultation with MOPAC’s GDPR Project Manager.

8.    Equality Comments

8.1.    Under s149 of the Equality Act 2010 (the Equality Act), as a public authority the Deputy Mayor/MOPAC must have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation, and any conduct that is prohibited by or under this Act; and to advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not. Protected characteristics under the Equality Act are age, disability, gender re-assignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, and marriage or civil partnership status (the duty in respect of this last characteristic is to eliminate unlawful discrimination only).

8.2.    The Violence Reduction Unit has commissioned an Equality Impact Assessment. The impact assessment recognises the importance of ethnicity, sex, age and socio-economic background as equality characteristics that the VRU programme will impact in positive ways through commissioning a programme that works with young people who are most affected by violence, with a focus on those who are disproportionately represented as victims and perpetrators (BAME groups). The assessment also highlights the need to recognise the distinct experiences of male and female young people. The extensions do not impact on the equality implications from the original proposals.  

9.    Background/supporting papers

9.1.     None.


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