Kent & Medway VRU

The impact of our work with the Kent & Medway Violence Reduction Unit

Wednesday 5th May 2021

Since September 2020, nurtureuk has been working with the Kent and Medway Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) as part of their Inclusion in Schools project. Ultimately the main aim is to achieve better outcomes for children and young people by helping to reduce violent crime in the county. Emotional and wellbeing support is also provided by the VRU which is what is at the core of everything we do at nurtureuk.

So what exactly is the Kent and Medway VRU? It is an essential partnership between the police, local councils, health service providers and a wide range of other agencies. They all work together to lift vulnerable young people out of crime. This leads to safer communities whilst allowing young people to achieve better outcomes at school and later in life.

Our collaboration with the Kent and Medway VRU has been met with a lot of praise, particularly from staff members of the VRU itself. We have kindly received the following evaluation from Emma Price who is the VRU coordinator for Kent VRU:

“The VRU have been working with nurtureuk since September 2020 having commissioned them to provide a bespoke package to schools centred around nurture approaches but which incorporated a programme to raise self-esteem and aspirations of both pupil and parent.  The aim of the work is to reduce school exclusions, increase student engagement with their school community and to help parents and school professionals to collaborate in how children are supported and understood.”

“Throughout the commissioning process, shaping the programme thereafter and delivery of the project itself, working with the nurtureuk has been positive.  They have shown an ability to forge meaningful relationships both with the VRU and the schools involved and to respond to changing demands and priorities.  Communication has been easy and regular throughout with the VRU and all schools have their own single point of contact.  Schools have valued the support that has helped them develop their critical thinking and have spoken highly of the skills of nurtureuk consultants who are helping schools to reshape or grow nurture-informed practice.”

“The project was launched at a challenging time for schools and nurtureuk have been flexible in how they have trained and supported school professionals which has allowed schools to remain engaged with the programme. 90% of schools on the project are keen to continue to work with nurtureuk to create a long term change to the culture and approach to supporting their students and, as schools move out of lockdown, are planning with nurtureuk to design bespoke responses to student needs. The VRU are planning to recommission nurtureuk for the coming year so that change can become fully embedded within the schools currently receiving their support. As an approach to change and enhance a whole-school ethos, some of this work is now being used to inform the wider Local Authority approach.”

Here at nurtureuk, we provide significant support to schools regarding violence reduction methods. We offer a variety of virtual training sessions that are part of our Nurturing Kent project. The training sessions help to build a more inclusive environment in schools with improved attendance and engagement from pupils of all ages. There are also regular webinars and workshops that Kent and Midway VRU run, for more information regarding these events please visit their website at https://www.kent-pcc.gov.uk/vru.

We look forward to continuing our work with both the Kent and London VRU. It is an exciting time at nurtureuk as we are looking at branching out to other areas in the UK to work with their violence reduction units as well. We strive to support as many young people as possible both inside and outside the school environment. By collectively working together, we can achieve this goal.