Greater Manchester Police has invested money seized from criminal activity into funding a peer education programme that enables young people affected by violence to learn, share and teach emergency lifesaving skills.
As a result of the funding, 21 young people from Oldham College have recently graduated from the Street Doctor’s StepWise programme - a 12-week youth engagement and education course.
The programme at Oldham College was funded by Greater Manchester Police’s Asset Recovery Incentive Scheme (ARIS) funding - money seized from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act which is then used to fund crime reduction activities that benefit the local community - as part of a programme of work in collaboration with the Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit (VRU), with the aim of educating young people about how to keep themselves and others safe.
North West Ambulance Service supported the programme, providing frontline knowledge and experience to the students.
The StepWise Programme enables young people to:
Learn emergency life-saving skills so they can become lifesavers in their communities
Gain an Emergency First Aid at Work accreditation
Learn about healthcare volunteering and career paths
Learn about their legal rights in relation to violent situations and police responses
Build their emotional and social skills
Develop facilitation and training skills to be able to co-deliver emergency first-aid training sessions to their peers alongside our healthcare volunteer trainers
The programme was a huge success, with 100% retention and completion rate, with nine students progressing to the peer delivery training programme.
The nine students that will complete the peer delivery training programme will work in small groups to deliver the programme to 40-60 other students in the college by the end of the year.
Many of the young people who took part reported that the programme had helped them to focus on a future career, with four deciding to pursue a career as a paramedic and many more planning to work in health services.
As a direct result of the programme, one student has secured work experience with the mountain rescue team, prior to starting paramedic training.
One student said: “Before the course if I had seen a fight I would of ran away and then called emergency services, but now I know how to calm a situation and how to approach a victim without putting myself in danger.”
Superintendent Chris Downey, from GMP’s Violence Reduction Unit, said: “I am really pleased that we were able to support StreetDoctors to deliver such a positive, educational programme to the young people of Oldham. It is particularly pleasing to me that this work was funded through proceeds of crime cash. Money that we have taken off criminals is now being used to educate our young people, which has to be a good thing.”