Youth violence charity launches new campaign after facing a drop in funds due to Covid-19 restrictions

The youth support charity, Redthread, has launched the #BeARedthread campaign to encourage people to donate this Christmas.

The charity works in A&E departments to support 11-25 year olds affected by violence in and empowers them to get their lives back on track.

A representative for Redthread said: “We have experienced a drop in various parts of our fundraising, including in-person events such as community fundraisers, like our bucket collection days at Dulwich Hamlet FC. We have also been unable to partner with various groups/businesses in the way we would have liked to.

“Like many organisations, the longer-term impact of the pandemic is creating an especially uncertain future for funding – the one thing we do know is that young people will continue to need our youth workers’ support.”

Redthread works with hospitals across South London including St George’s in Tooting, University Hospital in Lewisham, Queen Elizabeth in Woolwich and Croydon University Hospital.

Many charities have felt added pressure as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic which has seen a rise reports of mental health issues.

A survey conducted by the charities StreetDoctors, Redthread and MAC-UK recently found that 76% of young people who took part said lockdown had a negative impact on their mental health and 66% felt their safety had not improved or had gotten worse.

John Poyton, CEO Redthread said: “During the pandemic we’ve continued to work alongside our NHS colleagues to support young people. Whether it’s working remotely to reach those in need or conducting research to find out about their experiences – everyone at Redthread has worked so hard to ensure we can continue our vital work.

“Violence didn’t stop during lockdown or beyond, and our hugely increased demand since an initial dip in April reflects that. In 2020 young people need a Redthread and support to be healthy, safe and happy more than ever.”

Redthread youth workers provide support at a number of South London hospitals including St Georges in Tooting, Queen Elizabeth in Woolwich, University Hospital Lewisham and Croydon University Hospital.

The charity helps young people like Andi* who described the charity as a “major ray of light in the dark” after finding himself in a difficult situation.

“Andi attended the hospital A&E after he was stabbed near his home. He had been out of work and education and was also struggling with anxiety and depression.” said a Redthread representative.

“Our Redthread youth worker, Lee*, met Andi at his hospital bed. Together, they worked through his fear and anger, and reject earlier thoughts of retaliation. They mapped out how he could keep himself safe and set some goals for the future.

“Now, Andi is attending talking therapy, and feeling much better about himself. He’s completed a ‘steps to employment’ course and has secured a job in a car dealership. He’s saving up to rent a flat of his own and is positive about what the future holds.”

Find out more about the #BeARedthread campaign here:

*Names have been changed to protect identities

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