Stay Safe MCR is a local project aiming to help the young people of Salford and fight the restraints of poverty in Greater Manchester.
Mancunian Way are a charity based in Greater Manchester who started the project.
Stay Safe aim to help the youth in Manchester and come to Salford twice a week, to help young people with their employability skills, sex education, CV and other skills to help them take a positive route in life.
Many young people in Salford are growing up in poverty, the difficulties of poverty can cause children and young people to have behavioural issues that can lead them down a spiraling path of anti-social behaviour.
Eddie Fraser works for Stay Safe. He said: “It’s about harm reduction, making them aware of the consequences, like being in and out of prison their whole lives.
“The council need to put some more investment into the project, if you want to put young people on the right road you need to give them a sense of purpose, you need to have a laid-back approach.
“You’ve got to invest in people to get results.”
Chilly out on the streets this evening. The weather never stops us helping kids make positive informed choices to improve their own lives. ?? pic.twitter.com/Oq5ZoSQ07Y
— Stay Safe (@StaySafeMcr) December 3, 2019
Salford City Council identify that in the Salford area alone, 10,500 residents live in areas of extreme deprivation. These areas are mainly concentrated around Langworthy, Irwell Riverside, and Broughton in Central Salford with smaller pockets in Little Hulton and Winton wards.
“We’re fighting poverty in a disadvantaged area, for some of these children its learnt behaviour from their parents – it’s a fight against poverty.
According to the campaign, End Child Poverty – in 2017/2018, Manchester had 52.1% of children living in poverty, which equates to around 16,830 children.
Stay Safe predominantly have support from young people’s parents, however the local project insists that the right support and role models in a young person’s life are crucial in leading them down the right path.
Eddie said: “The parents in the community are really supportive, but sometimes they need to be more involved and support their children.
“Sometimes people lose control of the young person, that’s when we come and intervene.”
Lee Wilkinson is the supervisor of the detached team and started as a youth worker two years before he became supervisor.
When bringing the van to Salford, Lee explained that the visits have to be consistent on both ends for change to be seen in the young people.
Lee said: “When they’re engaging and we see them regularly, you do see subtle change.
“But if you don’t see them for a few weeks or two months, you can see they resort back to old behaviours.”
Stay Safe try to address issues before they develop into further problems within young people.
Eddie said: “Interventions need to be done at an early age, we need to get a grip of these young people because 20 years down the line you’ll be paying the prison services, the criminal justice system, the NHS to support these people.
“Might as well invest in young people now, rather than when they’re in a revolving door of criminal behaviour.”
“Young people are full of energy and they need to let that energy out, if they aren’t letting that energy out in a meaningful way, they will let it out in an antisocial way.”
Image Credit: Phoebe Walters