Here at Peace Partners we are delighted to have started a connection with Families Against Violence, a prominent organisation working to make a difference to people to families and young people in the region. Please read more about their work by the CEO, James Gregory.
The Moss Side area of Manchester, England is characterised by having a much higher Black and Minority Ethnic population than the country as a whole (4 x higher proportion) and then the City of Manchester itself (75% higher proportion). The area also has a much younger population than England as a whole (almost 3 x higher proportion) and then the City of Manchester (50% higher proportion). In terms of the Index of Multiple Deprivation, the area sits in the worse 2% of areas of its size in the UK.
Moss Side also has a long-standing reputation for being a hotbed for gangs and gun-related crime linked to territorial disputes. Much has changed in the past two decades and although much still needs to change it is a considerably better place in which to live than it was. That things have got better is due in no small part to the efforts of a number of local community-based organisations. One of the most prominent of these is the charity, Families Against Violence (FAV). It, and its predecessor organisation, have work for the past 10 years to address social issues in the Black, Asia and Minority Ethnic community with a particular emphasis on the Afro-Caribbean young males. It uses the hook of regularly sporting activities, particularly football, to engage their attention and to earn their trust. It subtlety allows young people to see and experience for themselves the link between hard work and perseverance on the one hand to progress and success on the other. Self-respect and respect for others grow hand in hand, barriers are broken down and long-term friendships created. FAV’s activities provide a counterweight to the sometimes siren call from the gang culture that is endemic and the temptations of anti-social behaviour that are so real for many.
Many of the senior staff in FAV become mentors and role models for the hundreds of young people that engage with the charity each year. Some of the young people take on leadership roles; either as coaches or in organisation and management, and that helps them onto a path towards tertiary education and / or paid employment.