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Artswork, Unloc and Youth Options host Peer Action Collective launch event: Ground-breaking peer research programme into youth violence in the Solent region

Date Created: 22nd Feb 2022

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On Monday 28 February, Artswork will be hosting a launch event for the Peer Action Collective, a programme of research into youth violence in the Solent region led by young people themselves. The event, taking place at Portsmouth Guildhall, has been organised to introduce the project to the wider community, including professionals interested in youth research and young violence action, and celebrate the research undertaken by young people so far.

The Peer Action Collective (PAC) is a ground-breaking network of young people, funded by the Youth Endowment Fund, the #iwill Fund and the Co-op, who are designing and conducting research about young people’s experiences of violence. Artswork, as part of a consortium with Unloc and Youth Options, have been awarded the contract for the South East, and are delivering the programme in partnership with young people from across the Portsmouth, Southampton, Totton and Eastleigh areas.

So far, a group of Peer Researchers in the South East have undertaken training and started scoping what they’d like to do through creative activities. The research phase, undertaken with hundreds of other young people, will be followed by a ‘Changemakers’ social action programme. In this phase young people will work together to build on evidence to design, develop and deliver their own projects to reduce the impact of violence on young lives, for example campaigning to improve certain aspects of their community to help address youth violence.

Peer Researchers have been divided into three groups, each of which is exploring a core theme. These themes are:

  • Drivers and causes of violence among young people;
  • Impact of youth violence on young people and their communities;
  • Ways to prevent youth violence and what young people think works.

The launch event will see each group present their topic and highlight why they feel it is important, followed by an opportunity for attendees to ask questions. Unloc will also outline the Changemaker phase of the project, and there will be an opportunity for networking.

Sky, one of the Peer Researchers, said:

“I got involved with this programme to help others. Having experienced youth violence in my past, I wanted to be a part of helping those going through something similar. The highlight so far has to be getting the amazing opportunity to write for the Guardian about the project and what we do. I’m most looking forward to carrying out interviews and really getting into the data needed to write our report at the end of the project. If there is anyone interested in the project that wants to help out or anything, reach out and I’m sure any help you can give will help me and my fellow peer researchers greatly.”

Artswork CEO Louise Govier said:

“We are delighted to be delivering this project with Unloc and Youth Options, and to be able to shine a spotlight on the work of these young people. Violence is impacting far too many young lives, but the best solutions to this problem are never going to come from someone my age. Far better to equip young people to explore this problem themselves and come up with the changes that they really think will make a difference in their communities. Working creatively together is opening up all sorts of possibilities for them, and I can’t wait to see where it leads.”

The South East Peer Action Collective launch event takes place on Monday 28 Feburary, 6pm-7.30pm, at Unloc Changemaker Studios, Portsmouth Guildhall. Please email Brian Baker, Project Co-ordinator, via email if you would like to attend:



Peer Action Collective Portsmouth Solent Southampton Unloc Youth Endowment Fund

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