Only Connect is proud to be a delivery partner of London Gang Exit, launched in February 2016. The service gives support to exit a gang for anyone who is gang-involved or gang-affiliated and aged 16-24, no matter which borough of London they live in.
The service is designed to complement and enhance existing local services across London, and fill in the gaps in provision. London Gang Exit is jointly commissioned by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime and MTCnovo. It is run by a consortium led by Safer London with key delivery partners Redthread and Only Connect, working with the London Community Rehabilitation Company’s new Referral Centre.
What makes London Gang Exit different?
London Gang Exit will ensure a measurable reduction in offending, will move individuals in to safe, stable housing and encourage young people back into employment, education or training. There are three key aspects to London Gang Exit’s approach.
- Inclusive Cohort
London Gang Exit is the first pan-London service for anyone aged 16-24, regardless of their gender. This includes those who are at risk from gangs and those who pose a risk of harm to others. This approach is unique as it recognises the complexities of gang involvement and the blurring of lines between offender and victim.
- Tailor-made support
All work delivered through the London Gang Exit service is tailored to the specific needs of young people. This could include mental health support, employment support, and specialised support for young women, for example counselling following sexual exploitation.
- Holistic approach
Young people are allocated a trained caseworker to provide intensive support, advocate on their behalf and build an effective and consistent relationship with them over an extended period of time. The support will work to improve all aspects of the young person’s life including:
- Gang activity
- Harm from gangs
- Offending behaviour
- Health and wellbeing
- Relationships and family
- Employment, education and training (EET).
What does the support look like?
London Gang Exit empowers young people to move away from gang lifestyles by providing support to exit, developing new skills and providing the opportunity for social reintegration into the community through receiving support, guidance and practical help.
The service offers holistic support over a six month intervention period. This support is offered via confidential one to one sessions in a location that is safe and comfortable for the service user. Depending on the service user’s level of need, the intensity of one to one support will be provided by a support worker or volunteer mentor.
How to make a referral
To be eligible for referral, the young person (male or female) is required:
- To be aged between 16-24 who are affiliated with or involved in gangs.
- To be at significant risk of harm from gang activity, (such as through child sexual exploitation), or a risk to themselves, or posing a risk of harm to others.
- To show some motivation to end their gang involvement and a willingness to cooperate with the London Gang Exit service.
The young person will not be eligible:
- If they are not yet motivated to end their gang involvement.
- If they are already receiving extensive support from the borough that they are residing in, or from other statutory organisations, or if the services they require are already available locally to them.
- If they fall outside the eligible age range.
All enquiries about this new service and full referrals need to be sent to the London Gangs Service Referral Unit (phone: 0785 0282499/ email address: LondonGangExitReferral@londoncrc.org.uk)