Reflecting on Success Moving Towards Excellence

Good Morning Britain Working Towards Excellence in 2016

MAV were pleased to give their views on the recent figures released showing a growing number of young people being involved in firearms offences.  Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act showed there were 1,549 arrests of children for suspected crimes involving firearms, air weapons or imitation guns, including 506 charges brought by police. The figures were alarming however Ian Swanston a trustee and counsellor for MAV focused on the fact there is good work going on in local communities.

Ian Swanston MAV Trustee and Counsellor interviewed.

Ian Swanston MAV Trustee and Counsellor interviewed.

Ian said; Manchester inner city communities had seen a decline in the numbers of young people involved in gun related deaths. Often young people are being used by older young adults involved in gangs who are trying to hide weapons. Ian appeared on Good Morning Britain and Sky News, he was also featured in The Sun and Daily Mail newspapers on Tuesday 29th March 2016.

Patsy Mckie took part in thePatsy Mckie founder member of MAV Digital Twitter Debate on the 22nd February 2016 with Labour MP Chuku Umunna. The debate tookTwitter Debate place online 10 days before the House of Commands debate on the 3rd March 2016. The debate was promoted with the twitter hashtag #StopYouthViolence. It was said to be the first debate of its kind just before a House of Commons debate. Chuku Umunna said; It was a fantastic initiative. Gangs and serious youth violence is such an important topic. Patsy was able to raise some key points in the debate, she twitted some of the key focus messages from MAV’s Making Children and Young People Matter project. Patsy was supported with tweets by MAV volunteers. Patsy said; The hour long debate was very productive and it was good to see many of the view shared by MAV are shared by others around the country.

MAV completed a number of successful projects in 2015 MAV are continuing to work with our local community in 2016 developing successful intervention that will better provide support to local young people and their families. This year MAV’s Making Children & Young People Matter (MCYPM) will be established as a Youth Project. All workJessica & Team at Sustainability Workshop with young people will be lead under the direction of the MCYPM. The project will be officially opened in July 2016 at the I Matter U Matter 2016 staged event On the 9th July 2016 in Manchester City Centre. However the project is already underway. Jessica Swanston is the current volunteer lead and she is leading meeting with volunteers to address sustainability and engagement issues. If you are interested in becoming involved with the project please contact Jessica using  the contact details below.

MAV worked with Holy Name Primary School and the African Caribbean Care Group on an intergenerational project which concluded work that developed an understanding of the black contribution to the 1st world war. It also looked at the developing place of art Manchester Art Gallery 1st WWBEC Event 1within communities. A visit to Manchester Art Gallery with young and old local people was a success. One older members of the group said; It was a pleasure to learn from the young people they had so much to offer. It is good to know that MAV are doing such positive work engaging all ages of the community. MAV are keen to have MCYPM engaging young and old people with a number of projects over the next year. MAV are continuing to seek Dance Sculpturefunding which will enable the ideas to move forward. MCYPM were also able to complete an project which provided an opportunity for a group of young people involved in dance to produce a dance sculpture. The sculpture was created using footprints in clay. The young people took part in all aspects of developing the sculpture. The focus on young people learning in different ways is a clear focus. MCYPM is supported with funding from a number of key funders. A group of young people aged between 12 and 16 visited the BBC Media City Salford to understand the opportunities available through the BBC’s apprentice scheme. We also took a group of primary aged children to the Derek Harper Foundries Ltd MAV are  supporting parents who are finding it difficult engaging their young peopleDerek Harper Foundries Visit with education, employment or training opportunities by ensuring we give young people living in the inner cities greater experiences. MCYPM understand that experiences provide knowledge and knowledge gives potential to local young people.  The work we do can not be achieved without volunteer and funding support. MAV are pleased we have secured funding from the Greater Manchester Police Commissioners Youth Aspiration Fund. The funding has already provided young people with opportunities to develop their skills with activities that promote active learning. MAV have successfully managed to combined different funds together so that projects can meet the needs of more young people and still meet the desired outcomes of funders. Last year Lottery Funding was combined with WO Street Foundation Funding to support the start of the I Matter U Matter work with Young People and their relationship with their Fathers. The special project not only provided support for young people with mentoring, counselling and life coaching but also extended to providing support for many dads’ in the community.

The Let’s Involve Fathers Too (LIFT)

LIFT took a group of dad’s away for a weekend to explore the valuable role of fatherhood.LIFT Weekend Workshop The evidenced based Triple P Parenting programme was used as an underpin for the weekend. Fathers were offered Triple P one to one support after the introduction weekend was completed.LIFT Weekend Cake

Ian Swanston lead the weekend and said;  It was a total pleasure to bring fathers together for an all expenses paid weekend in which they looked at their role as fathers. We looked at the challenges fathers face in parenting separated from the mother of their child. We also addressed the challenge of parenting children with behaviour difficulties such as ADHD and Autism. It was good to have the experiences of our guest speaker Stanimir Kolev an interior designer who has experience of work with children with behaviour difficulties sharing his experiences of positive ways to build a productive engaging relationship with all children regardless of needs.LIFT Weekend ActivityLIFT Poster 2015

There was positive feedback from our evaluation after the weekend. The main criticism of the weekend was that two days was just not long enough.

One father said; The weekend made me realise we need to talk more about how we feeling about being dads.  Many problems we have as fathers can be overcome once they are shared.  

The weekend started with a trip to the venue for the weekend which was the Cedar Mount Hotel Huddersfield. We completed the first session which focused on establishing aims and objectives of the weekend. The group were able to share the reason they chose to attend.

LIFT was widely promoted on 3 local radio stations across Greater Manchester many of the attendees said they had heard about the event as a result of the radio advert or interviews which were completed by MAV Founder Patsy Mckie and MAV ACCESS Lead Ian Swanston. After introductions the group explored how to provide a positive learning environment. A series of short Triple P Positive Parenting Films were used to explore the topic. The group also explored the importance of creating a positive learning environment with children and young people. The group looked at Goal Setting & Encouraging Appropriate Behaviours. They then explored the need for realistic expectation for fathers in a changing world. 

The session allowed fathers to set realistic goals for change on their return to family life. The group of dads were also encouraged to actively display appropriate behaviours when dealing with challenging children and young people.  

The final day ended with a visit to Castle Hill Huddersfield. LIFT project will be having a follow up event in May 2016 if you would like to attend then please contact Ian Swanston by phone or email.

Mobile: 07984066771


I Matter U Matter 12th July 2015

Jessica Swanston I Matter U Matter Host 2015

In the summer of 2015 we completed the I Matter U Matter Event. The Making Children and Young People Matter stage event provided another great opportunity for Mothers Against Violence to showcase the positive talents that come out of the inner city and the surrounding areas of Manchester. It is the 6th Year MAV have hosted the event and 2015 was the longest list of artist we accommodated. The 7 hour show was hosted by Volunteer and MAV’s new MCYPM Project Development Lead Jessica Swanston.MAV Stage Show I Matter U Matter 2015 Dancers

Many of the stage acts were preforming for 2nd, 3rd and even 4th year in a row. It was a celebration of the positive creative talent in areas such as Moss Side, Hulme, Longsight which are often only linked and associated with gun crime and anti-social behaviours. MAV are keen to show Greater Manchester the talent that is coming out of the inner city every year.MAV Stage Show I Matter U Matter 2015 B

Many people ask why we invest in young people giving them opportunities like this. There are many reasons one is prevent children and young people from engaging in negative activities which increase anti social behaviours. One such problem promoting anti social behaviours is legal highs. One organisation which attended this years event MCYPM was the charity LIFE SHARE. Mothers Against Violence Trustee Julie Boyle works for LIFE SHARE. In a recent article featured in Quays News.

Julie BoyleJulie Boyle said: “We are in a legal high epidemic, especially amongst the homeless community. “The use of spice is horrendous, it’s the worst thing to have ever hit the homeless community.” Legal highs have been a concern in Manchester after statistics revealed that there has been a 10-fold increase in police call-outs to incidents involving legal highs since 2013. We’ve had incidents where a lad was raped under the influence of legal highs, we’ve also had a 22-year-old man who had a heart attack because of it, “And another man who had second degree heart failure from smoking mamba (a type of legal high) and now he’s on medication for life.” Legal highs contain one or more chemical substances which produce effects similar to illegal drugs such as cocaine or ecstasy. They can be purchased for as little as £5 a gram and Legal Highsare sold in various newsagents and emporiums across Manchester. It’s illegal to sell them for human consumption, so they are marketed as incense, salt or plant food to get around the law and are sold under names such as ‘hipster’, ‘pandoras box’ and ‘mambo’. Then users smoke the substance either in a pipe or rolled in rizla paper. Although these substances are not controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 they can be more dangerous than illegal drugs. This is because the chemical components in them and their physical and mental side effects are unknown. Even though the ingredients are on the back of the packets the paramedics are unsure of what the chemical compositions of all these ingredients actually are, which makes it incredibly hard for users to be, “If the government manage to ban one type of legal high, then the manufacturers simply change the chemical composition and it goes straight back on the streets and in the shops.

Like Mothers Against Violence, LIFESHARE aims to help vulnerable people in Manchester by offering them advice and guidance, Julie estimates that out of the 120 clients aged 16-25 LIFESHARE have seen regularly 95 per cent of them are using legal highs. Julie  added: “On the enforcement side of it I think that the shops should be doing what they are supposed to be doing and shops found selling it to those smoking it should be closed. The enforcement needs to be tougher. The problem with legal highs are that there’s so much rubbish in it it’s out of control and they are so easy to get hold of.”

MAV were please to have LIFESHARE supporting last years MCYPM Event we hope theyDonate Now can join us for this years event scheduled for July 2016. MCYPM will continue promoting their chosen theme throughout the year. A key focus after the MCYPM City Centre Event will be to engage more young people to MAV Services. MAV are hopeful for the future. We want to continue doing the work we do supporting local schools, youth offending services, prisons and providing counselling and mentoring. Please kindly make a donation. Just click on the Donate Now link. This will take you to our donation page. Thank You for all your support.


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I Matter U Matter! Making Children & Young People Matter 2015

Making Children & Young People Matter (MCYPM) 2015

It is that time of year again when Mothers Against Violence (MAV) prepare to host are biggest event of the years. MCYPM Planning Team are currently working with Manchester City Council, GM Police, Fire and Ambulance services to put together a programme of activities which highlight theimportance of children and young peopleacross Greater Manchester.

Patsy Mckie said of the initial MCYPM Event in 2004; “The MCYPM Event was birthed as a result of pain and the increase in a number of young men being murdered in our community. A march was organised to raise awareness and also to address the young men who were causing fear in the community with gang wars. After some consultation with local people MAV felt it was important to work with our local authority and use the “Every Child Matters Framework” to be a guide to what we wanted to achieve. MAV questioned local people and services to young people and children asking “If you believe every child matter, how do you show every child matters?” We felt it was important to do something to show as a group how we will make children and young people matter in our community.

Over the past five years MAV have covered all five of the Every Child Matters outcomes. This year the events theme is simply “I Matter U Matter.” The stage show will host numerous musical talent and artistic acts from young people across Manchester. Some of the confirmed artist include IONE preforming Back in the Day, Napz & Jawz, Sleepz, Kyle Angs, J Chambers, Rzo and J Sky . This free stage show will be the focus of our annual MCYPM celebration. We aim to ensure the key message this year is promoted throughout the day and young people leave the event encouraged to achieve all five of the Every Child Matters Outcome which were introduced by the government  12 years ago for every child cross Great Britain.  It was in 2003 the Government published a Green Paper called Every Child Matters. This was published alongside the formal response to the report into the death of Victoria Climbié, the young girl who was horrifically abused and tortured, and eventually killed by her great aunt and the man with whom they lived. The Green Paper built on plans to strengthen preventative services by focusing on four key themes: Increasing the focus on supporting families and carers – the most critical influence on children’s lives. Ensuring necessary intervention takes place before children reach crisis point and protecting children from falling through the net. Addressing the underlying problems identified inthe reportinto the death of Victoria Climbié – weak accountability and poor integration, ensuring that the people working with children are valued, rewarded and trained. The Green Paper prompted an unprecedented debate about services for children, young people and families. There was a wideconsultation with people working in children’s services, and with parents, children and young people.

To purchase an event T –Shirt “I Matter U Matter.” for only £7 please contact the MAV Office contact details below. Emails:                                                                                                                             Phone: 0161 226 8134

MCYPM’s Let’s Involve Fathers Too (LIFT) Project 

MAV are keen to keep the Every Child Matters key themes for services to young people as part of our agenda for positive change. Each year we secure funding from local and national funders for the MCYPM Event in the city of Manchester. We are pleased to say we are in our six year.  We express a big thank you to our funders for this year which include Heritage Lottery Fund, Youth Aspiration Fund, William Openshaw Street Trust  and Awards for All.  Awards for All are MAV’s longest serving funders supporting the charity for the last 5 years. This year Awards for All is supporting MAV’s ACCESS Project which support the mental health of local people through counselling.  ACCESS Project will look at how Fathers are supported to ensuring their role in family life is met and valued. On Father’s Day (21st June 2015) MAV  open registration  for a new intervention which is called Let’s Involve Fathers Too (LIFT). LIFT will start with a weekend residential at the Cedar Court Hotel in Huddersfield on 29th August 2015. The weekend will include support for fathers and will introduce the five principles of the Triple P Positive Parenting Programme which is an evidenced based parenting support intervention.  A recent study of Triple P showed five years after first introducing Triple P, the county of Santa Cruz hasclear evidence of the programme’s success – particularlywith fathers, Latino families and other hard-to-reach groups.  The Santa Cruz County Triple P coordinator Nicole Young manages the Triple P rollout for First 5 Santa Cruz – a child-advocacy organisation that invests in programmes to improve the lives of children with the Santa CruzCounty Children’s Mental Health Department and the Santa Cruz County Child Welfare Department.

Nicole said; “detailed records had been kept from the outset of the original pilot Triple P programme in order to track progress. Now, the results collected show marked improvements. These can be seen throughout the population in general, but also in typically hard-to-reach groups such as males, Spanish-speakers and Latino participants. Parents have said they found Triple P very helpful and they learned things like how to be more patient, or how to talk to their children, how to give descriptive praise, and create routines, and how to let their teens be involved in making decisions.”

The LIFT weekend will also provide an opportunity for local dadsto develop volunteer andcommunity roles intheir local community. It will continue with an 8 weeksupporting fathers parenting group in Manchester in September 2015. The 8 week programme is open to fathers who attended the weekend and will be open to new groupmembers.

Ian Swanston said; “It has been a pleasure working  with young people in school and addressing older people leading up to black history month celebrations in October 2014. I have spent a lot of time completing the 1st World War a Black Contribution Project which was funded by Heritage Lottery Fund and has successfully engaged with 165 people from age 10 -92.  I completed presentations at Levenshulme Inspire, Holy Name Primary, African Caribbean Care Group and Barbados Overseas Nurses Association.  As this project comes to an end in July 2015 with a Walter Tull photograph tribute and memorial, I am excited to turn my attention to the LIFT support programme for local fathers.  As a father myself I know the role can sometimes be very challenging and there are times I don’t always know what’s best.  The thought of being able to have evidenced based support to manage such challenging issues is encouraging to me. Equally encouraging is the knowledge that I am not alone and there are other fathers’ who have similar experiences. I hope the LIFT project will enable local dad’s to come together and find support that enables better long-term outcomes for children and young people.”  

The 1st World War a Black Contribution Project will be reviewed in full in November 2015 and aspects of the review will appear on the MAV website. 

The LIFT Weekend is free. If you are a father of a child 0 -16 who would like to explore your role with other fathers please don’t hesitate in making contact. There are limited places on the LIFT Project.  Please make contact soon. Travel to and from the event can also be arranged free of charge to participants.  For more information contact details are below.

Mobile phone: 07984066771


Guns, Gangs and Knives Conference 

19th May 2015 London

The Next Steps in Tackling Serious Youth Violence

Two memebrs of the MAV Management Committee attended the Guns, Knives & Gang conference in London.  Gang and Youth Violence has blighted some of our communities for years. There is widespread consensus that much more must be done to tackle serious youth crime in the UK, addressing the root causes of gang and street weapon culture and reaching out to young people to challenge destructive attitudes and behaviours. Ending Gang and Youth Violence: A Cross Government Report (November 2011). Focusing on five areas; prevention; pathways out; punishment; partnership working andproviding support, the strategy stressed that every agency must play its role in identifying children or young people at risk of involvement in gang crime and take robust, coordinated action to turn their life around. In October 2014, the Ending Gang and Youth Violenceprogramme wasexpanded to a further 10 areas, meaning a total of 43 local authorities are now engaged in the programme.

In June 2014, the Government released the ‘Ending Gang and Youth Violence: Community Engagement’ report which highlighted key principles for successful community engagement and reinforced that ending youth violence requires an end-to-end approach, from prevention to rehabilitation, from a range of statutory and non-statutory partners, the local community, public agencies and businesses. This special symposium offers an invaluable opportunity forpractitioners across the police service, education, health andthird sector to examine the Government’s strategies to tackle serious youth crime, share best practice and consider the next steps in confronting gang culture in order to significantly reduce the level of violence on our streets.  MAV were pleased to be able to send two members of themanagement committee to the event.

MAV Trustee Vide Swanston said; “It was good to hear one the speakers. Cherie Johnson, s Chief Executive of Shared Intense Support talk about the need to understand the language of young people. She said it is important that adults work at engaging with young people at their level. This will mean being able to understand how young people communicate. It is not about us trying to be young but it is more about us trying to show we are able to relate and understand. This then builds trust and young people will then feel more able to share their concerns and worries. Once they do we can then use are experience to help and support then through their issues and concern.  

European Conference on Countering Violent Extremism

 4th June 2015 Oslo, Norway

MAV were delighted to be invited to the European Conference on Countering Violent Extremism, organised by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue with the support of the Norwegian Government. The conference aimed to bring together activists, thinkers and practitioners to learn about different initiatives across Europe and to build a network ofactivists countering violent extremism.  MAV were sponsored bythe event organisers toattend. Two members of the team attended, one management  member and a volunteer. MAV attended day one of the conference which included services from many differentbackgrounds, religions and sectors within civil society, all with various levels of activism.Some participants work to buildcohesion and unity within their communities, whileothers work to directly counter extremism and violent extremistideologies. Whetherworking as individuals or within groups, in local or national spheres, this diversity reflects the many different concerns within civil society and helps to develop agreater understanding of the problemsfaced and possible solutions we can work towards collectively. There was also a range of innovators and creators from companies like Facebook and Google who joined the event to help teach about countering online extremism and how to stay networked across Europe in our efforts.

Jessica a volunteer who attended the Conference on Countering Violent Extremism said; “It was great to attend the event in Oslo. On my return I felt it was important to see how best I could feedback my learning to others in the charity. I could not help but think there was so much we could do to engage our volunteers. I feel MAV need to have more contacts with volunteers enabling volunteers to make more of a contribution and engage more effectively.  I am please this is something that has been highlighted as a need through the process of gaining our PQASSO quality standard. One of the key issues at the event was how we could be more effective with social media. We were encouraged to help engage young people in positive ways to do positive activities that strengthen communities online as positive engagement could reduce opportunities to engage in negative extremist behaviours. ”

The Goals for Day One of the Conference was allowing the voicesof civil society activists to be heard by policy-makers and politicians across Europe. Secondly to provide a space for civil society participants from across Europe to converse with one another and explore different initiatives taking place to create community cohesion and counter extremism. Finally to build a sustainable network for participants online to stay connected online.

MAV are hopeful for the future. We want to continue doing the work we do supporting local schools, youth offending services, prisons and providing counselling and mentoring. Please kindly make a donation. Just click on the Donate Now link. This will take you to our donation page. Thank You for all your support.

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MAV Educating & Working in Our Community

The First World War a Black & Ethnic Contribution 

Mothers Against Violence (MAV) started a new project in October 2014. October is the UK’s black history month and we used this month to start the new project which has been titled The First World War a Black & Ethnic Contribution (FWWBEC). The project which has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund highlights the positive contribution black people have made securing communities and upholding the right for all to live in peace. Sadly sometimes war has been the only way governments have felt this could be achieved. MAV are a charity that promotes nonviolence. However we understand that daily there are people who lay down their lives to secure positive futures for the rest of us, without them we would not be able to strive for communities which are built on the right that all people live in peace. MAV are committed to seeking the ideal of love and respect for all. It is with this in mind that MAV will explore with groups of young and older people the positive contributions historical figures have made to secure better communities for us all. We understand and sympathies with the view that for many war is never the answer. However we also value those who serve in our armed forces. We also encourage those young people in our communities that choose to serve in the armed forces as a career option.

Lieutenant Walter Tull.

At the beginning of black history month MAV start to explore the life of Lieutenant Walter Tull.  FWWBEC project provides opportunities for groups to look at the vast contribution Walter Tull and other black and ethnic groups made 100 years ago during the 1st World War. The project will  also explored the many other contributions made since the first world war by black and ethnic groups. We hope it will help inspire young and old people in our community. We hope it will help and encourage them to continue making positive contribution, providing a sense of achievement and value for those black and ethnic group in the community. We also hope it will help remove negative image being promoted by small groups of people who think that black and other ethnic groups have only been takers from the Britain and not contributes to Britain.      

A Profile of Lieutenant Walter Tull – Black History Month 

On the 8th November MAV’s Youth Dance Group completed the Walter Tull Workshop and then set out for London to attend the Remembrance Day Service Lead by the Queen at the Whitehall memorial London. They then visited the Poppy Memorial at the Tower of London. At the end of the day the young people decided to leave their framed Walter Tull reflection presentation at the London war memorial alongside the reeves left by members of the Royal Family and Commonwealth leaders. MAV will continue to commemorate the Positive Contributions made by Lieutenant Walter Tull and others until July 2015.

Walter Tull was the son of joiner, was born in Folkestone in April 1888 Walter’s father, the son of a slave, had arrived from Barbados in 1876. In 1895, when Walter was seven, his mother died. Walter’s father remarried but he died two years later. The stepmother was unable to cope with all six children and Walter and his brother Edward were sent to a Methodist run orphanage in Bethnal Green, London. Walter was a keen footballer and played for a local team in Clapton. In 1908 Walter’s talents were discovered by a scout from Tottenham Hotspur and the club decided to sign this promising young footballer. He played for Tottenham until 1910, when he was transferred for a large fee to Northampton Town. Walter was the first black outfield player to play professional football in Britain. When the First World War broke out, Walter abandoned his football career to join the 17th (1st Football) Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment. During his military training Walter was promoted three times. In November 1914, as Lance Sergeant he was sent to Les Ciseaux in France.

In May, 1915 Walter was sent home with post-traumatic stress disorder. Returning to France in September 1916 Walter fought in Battle of the Somme, between October and November, 1916. His courage and abilities encouraged his superior officers to recommend him as an officer.

On 26 December, 1916, Walter went back to England on Leave and to train as an officer. There were military laws forbidding ‘any negro or person of colour’ being commissioned as an officer, despite this, Walter was promoted to lieutenant in 1917. Walter was the first ever Black officer in the British Army, and the first black officer to lead white men into battle. Walter was sent to the Italian Front where he twice led his Company across the River Piave on a raid and both times brought all of his troops back safely. He was mentioned in Despatches for his ‘gallantry and coolness’ under fire by his commanding officer.

He was recommended for the Military Cross but never received it.

After their time in Italy, Walter’s Battalion was transferred to Somme Valley in France. On 25 March, 1918, Walter Tull was killed by machine gun fire while trying to help his men retreat. Walter was such a popular man and several of his men risked their own lives in an attempt to retrieve his body under heavy fire but they were unsuccessful due to the enemy soldiers advance. Walter’s body was never found and he is one of thousands of soldiers from World War One who has no known grave.

Lieutenant Walter Tull Presentations 

MAV started the project by completing a number of presentation on Lieutenant Walter Tull in October 2014 in different venues across Manchester. They included Holy Name Primary School, African Caribbean Care Group Hulme, Inspire Church Levenshulme and with the MAV Youth Dance Group. We presented each group with a book on the life of Walter Tull and a framed written reflection. In each session the groups looked at the positive contribution made by Walter Tull. They also reflected on how they made a positive contribution in their community. The children at Holy Name Primary School in Hulme Manchester completed art work and with the help of MAV added new books about Walter Tull to their school library. The children had never heard of Walter Tull and after the session said they felt pleased they could add this British service man to their collection of black heroes alongside Martin Luther King JR, Nelson Mandela, Mary Seacole and President Obama. 

MAV are pleased that the project will continue in January 2015 with a Walter Tull presentation at the Manchester Art Gallery.  This will lead onto a school based art project and Walter Tull memorial presentation event scheduled for June 2015.

Making Children & Young People Matter Event 


by Jessica Swanston & Beulah Tomlin

On Saturday 12thJuly 2014 Mothers Against Violence (MAV) hosted their annual Making Children and young People Matter event in Manchester’s City Centre. This year’s theme for the event “MAKING A POSITIVE CONTRIBUTION” was taken from on one of the five outcomes of the Every Child Matters framework for children in the UK.  

MAV ensured they paid tribute to those in the community that had made positive contribution in the community helping guide children in the local community to in making a positive contribution.  In addition there were activities such as face painting, stalls with specially designed T-shirts with the word PEACE on it, Jewellery, giant mascots, childrens’ craft activities and our very own Queen of Hearts. 

Our main headliners, BBC’s The Voice runner up, Chris Royal, gave beautiful renditions and in support of our event was The Absolutes (a pair of giant mascot) in the bright orange and brown. We also had Lady Scarlet on stilts a vision in red, which captured the audience attention. We had a young group of dancers from a Dance School in Stockport, who captivated the audience along with many singers, dancers and poets. The event was a success. There was a huge turn-out and the weather was kind to us. We had many people and organisations that were able to help make a positive contribution at the event, which included sponsorship and donations, some of these included Siemens Manchester, Manchester City Council, Virgin Lounge on Kings Street and Kro Bar which is based in the city centre Piccadilly Gardens.

The children’s activities worked well. We do think next year there should be more active activities and more mascots and children’s entertainers as this proved positive at this year’s event. The acts on the stage were fabulous and people felt there was a good range of different types of music. We hope next year more acts will bring some of their CDs and merchandise to sell and give away.

We featured a list of war heroes as an introduction to the FWWBEC project and remembered people such as Lee Rigby from Middleton. We also presented certificates to past volunteers for their support and positive contributions to MAV and local services since 1999 when MAV started.

One of the new features  of the event which were of great success was the Prayer Tent. Which offered support to people of all faiths. Many people came and asked to be prayed for. They went away with contact details and other information for further support. MAV’s aim is to continue putting on programmes and events which will give the youth of our city the time and space to engage in community programmes and to focus their energies in doing positive things in our communities.

MAV Awarded Certificates to those who have made a Positive Contribution in our local community and beyond. They included:-

Previous MAV Workers: For the work they have done in support of the service since 1999

Refinery: For supporting Mother Against Violence with art work and promotional activities

Dr. Erinma Bell MBE DL: For her work with the local community of Moss Side   

New Testament Church of God: For the faith and spiritual support in the community   

Barbaken: For the support it gives to Mother Against Violence 

Peace FM: For their commitment to PEACE in the local community  

Youngblood: For his artistic achievement in the local community   

Xcalibre: For the commitment to making the community a safer place

Asda Hulme Manchester: For the support given to Mother Against Violence

Rev. David Gray: For his work in the local community 

Mr. Tony Lloyd: For his national contribution in supporting the inner city of Manchester.     

Lee Rigby: For the positive contribution he made in the armed forces and for the dignity of his family and friends in dealing with his tragic loss of life.

Tribute From MAV Founder Patsy Mckie

The  Making Children & Young People Matter Event was birthed as a result of pain and the increase in a number of young men being murdered in our community.

In 2004 a march was organized to raise awareness and also to address the young men who were causing fear in the community with gang wars. After some consultation with local people MAV felt it was important to work with our local authority and use the “Every Child Matters Framework” to be a guide to what we wanted to achieve. MAV questioned local people and services to young people and children asking “If you believe every child matter, how do you show every child matter?” We felt it was important to do something to show as a group how we will make children and young people matter in our community. As a result of this question meetings were arranged with the Deputy Manager of Manchester City Council and our first Making Children & Young People Event took place in the city centre in 2009. In 2010 at our second event we used one of the Every Child Matter outcome for our theme. We have now completed all five outcomes our final being “Making A Positive Contribution”.

Our last two events saw the largest crowd of children and young people taking part using their talents and gifts and fulfilling their potential and having the confidence to do so. Children and young people suggestions were valued.  The feedback given on the event suggested the crowd felt it was a lovely family day.  The artist were able to perform and enjoyed event and develop their performance abilities.  The children and young people that took part felt valued and more confident and left with a sense of achievement. Overall every one made a positive contribution on the day.

Other issues raised were a lack of volunteers on the day and the late start which meant some performers had a longer wait than necessary. The Making Children & Young People Matter Team would like to thank all the people who contributed on the day this made the day a success. This year we had support from Manchester based Shaw Star who provided MAV with many of the local artist and performers. This is the second year we worked with the promoters.  We also worked with London based t-shirt company Indigo Pink Clothing. for the first time. They are keen to promote the message of PEACE. Their t-shirt designs inspired the MAV team. We welcomed them to the event with Photographer JC Candanedo aka Grey Pistachio who provided photos for this article. We found their work and commitment in supporting the event inspiring.  We would also like to thank the funders with special thanks to Awards for All Big Lottery Fund    

MAV Garden Party August 2014

MAV also put on a Garden Party that took place at the Claremont Centre Hulme. The event was supported by the local community, Manchester City Council and Greater Manchester Fire Service. The focus was Manchester Africa Caribbean Care Group who are currently based at Claremont Centre. The service supports the elderly in the local community. MAV have worked closely with the service for over 3 years. We have provided activities for the elderly which includes working with young people from local schools. The aim is to bridge the gap between the elderly and young people. The free event provided entertainment and food for many of the older people in the area. 150 people attended. Many of the performers from the Making Children & Young People Matter Event also volunteered their services and support for the Garden Party.      

Please Donate! Thank You

MAV are hopeful for the future. We want to continue doing the work we do supporting local schools, youth offending services, prisons, substance misuse services and providing counselling and mentoring. Please kindly make a donation. Just click on the Donate Now link. This will take you to our donation page. Thank You for all your support.

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MAV Make A Positive Contribution in 2014

Making Children & Young People Matter 2014

On Saturday 12th July at 1.00 pm MAV are having our annual Making Children & Young People Matter Event. It will be held in MANCHESTER city centre, Piccadilly Gardens. On stage will be live musical talent, inspirational talks, poetry, stalls and other entertainment.  Mothers Against Violence aims to raise awareness of the effect of crime on families and  communities. The year is the BIG THANK YOU YEAR!

MAV will pay tribute to  people and services in the community that Make A Positive Contribution. The theme this year is taken from the Every Child Matter Framework. We also hope to inspire others to Make A Positive Contribution in their communities.

MAV are please to be able to say thanks to those who contributed in the 1st World War and this year we celebrate one hundred years. MAV have received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and at this years Event we will thank black and all other ethnic groups who made a positive contributions one hundred years ago and those who put their lives on the front line of war today.

Building A New Generation (BANG)

Residential Weekend &  Lion King Theatre Trip

MAV’s A Community Counselling & Emotional Support Service (ACCESS) hosted the Building A New Generation (BANG) Residential weekend which took place on 26th -27th April 2014. The event took place at the Jurys Inn Hotel in Bradford. Ian Swanston who leads the ACCESS project was lead coordinator for the event. Ian provided a therapeutic environment throughout the weekend this helped give young people time and space to explore their views and thoughts. The programme included a trip to Bradford’s Alhanbra Theatre to see the Lion King.

The weekend was aimed at young people aged 11-17. It was funded by Awards for All Lottery Funding and supported young people in developing ways in which they can impact their community in a positive way. The Every Child Matters outcome Economic Wellbeing has been a key focus for MAV since July 2013 and the BANG weekend brought the theme to a positive end. The young people covered issues relevant to enhancing their everyday life. There were 4 Workshops which covered the topics Business Development, Building Positive Relationships, African DANCE and Making a Difference to Domestic Abuse.

The ACCESS project created a programme of activities that allowed the group of young people to reflect on their personal goals as well as think about how those goals would best impact their local community. The whole weekend had a clear message of encouragement and self-reflection. A qualified male and female Counsellor were on hand throughout the weekend to provide support and encouragement in group and one to one work.   

In small groups the young people were able to bring their thoughts together and write four key focus points for BANG 2014-15.

 B – Build Believe and never give up. Being Bigger Better and Bolder  

 A – Aim to Achieve high Aspirations through positive Actions

 N – No Negativity No more Neglect

 G – Group together forever Generation

MAV’s Road Map for Business Development Workshop

The workshop is in its second year at MAV and was developed by Carl Montlake & MAV to help provide training for ex-offenders on their release from prison. The programme of support covers all major aspects of establishing a business. Carl session with the young people offered an opportunity for them to consider the possibility of having their own business in the future. Carl helped young people understand what is necessary when developing a good business idea. Carl also provided encouragement, for those young person who were already considering a business venture in the future. The young people feedback from the session was encouraging they said;  

You can achieve anything if you put your mind to it 

 I know the things to think about when starting a business

Having a business is not easy    

On the first day of the programme the young people were allowed some free time to go out and about around Bradford. The young people split into three groups. The first group visited Bradford City Centre and went to see what bargains Bradford city shops had to offer. The second group visited the National Media Museum which is said to be one of the most modern interactive museums in the UK. The third group went to the Impression Art Gallery and Library. The gallery had a special presentation called “Thirteen” which evoked death drama and identity. George Chakravarthi re-imagines the thirteen Shakespearean characters who met their ends through suicide.  The activities were followed by Dinner at an all you can eat Cantonese Buffet Restaurant. A number of young people took full advantage of the all you can eat part of the deal.   

We ended the first day at the Alhambra Theatre seeing the stage production of the Lion King. It was the first experience of the theatre for many of the young people who attended. The trip was also a way of inspiring young people who are part of the MAV Dance Group to explore other forms of dance such as African dancing. The Lion King story line brings together many of the key aims and objectives of MAV. The story follows the life of a Simba a lion cub who runs away from his troubles instead of facing them and standing up for positive change. Simba later learns you can’t run away forever and the best thing to do is to face your past and make positive changes for the future. The ACCESS Project have wanted to complete a trip to see the production for a number of years however were unable to secure funding. ACCESS were extremely grateful when Awards for All agreed to fund the total cost of the two day residential and trip to see the Lion King. After the show the young people said;

“It was the best thing they had ever seen” 

“It was just great” 

“I want to see it again it was just amazing”

This was all very encouraging for the staff and MAV team  

On the second day after a very nice breakfast at the hotel Ian Swanston completed a reflection. Ian helped the young people gathered thoughts and feeling from the Lion King  production. The young people were asked if they were inspired by the story and what they enjoyed or disliked about the production. It was largely very positive the only two dislikes were the seating and the length of the production. The majority of feedback was extremely positive the things the young people highlighted as learning points from the production included;

Working together helps communities

Never try to run away from your past, learn from it

Good will always overcomes evil

Don’t let anyone stop you from going for your dreams    

African Dance Workshop  & Cartwright Hall in Lister Park

The young people were given a choice to complete an African Dance workshop which would allow the young people time to explore the dance of the Lion King. During the session the young people would explore the power of movement with African dance instructor Joy Akinbinu. Joy would help the young people look at African dance in details and share her experience of African dance helping the group create their own African moves and groves. The alternative activity to African dance was an outdoor activity to which is set in the magnificent, Green Flag-awarded grounds of Lister Park, with a boating lake, adventure playground and Mughal Gardens. Most of the children stayed to complete the African Dance Workshop. However 5 of them visited Lister Park and Cartwright Hall with two members of staff. After the African Dance workshop and trip to Lister Park the young people said they really enjoyed the two activities. One young people wrote;

Joy had good energy and persuasive skills she got most people taking part in the African Dance Workshop   

Domestic Abuse

The final workshop covered the challenging subject of Domestic Abuse. The session was led by Carol Townsend who explored the issues of domestic abuse. She helped the young people explore ways in which they could challenge such issues in their local community. Young people also looked at what influences made this the fastest growing type of abuse in local communities across then UK. The young people also looked at ways in which they can make positive changes to improve outcomes in the future. The workshop helped young people look out for the signs of domestic violence in relationships. The young people were extremely engaged in the subject matter which was a clear reflection on the Carol’s active learning style which ran throughout the two hour session. After the session young people said:

I have learnt how to keep myself safe from abusive relationships and how to support others.  

 I now know how many people in our community are suffering from abusive relationships. I want to make a difference.

The early signs of abusive behaviours are clearer to me.      

We ended the weekend with an evaluation session which was led by MAV founder member Patsy Mckie. This allowed young people time to look at the main learning points of the weekend and feedback if the weekend had meet its aims and objectives. After the evaluation MAV Chairperson Pauline Sergeant led a vote of thanks which included thank to the ACCESS project Lead Ian Swanston.

Please Donate to MAV Now!  Thank You

MAV are hopeful for the future. We want to continue doing the work we do supportinglocal schools, youth offending services, prisons, substance misuse services and providing counselling and mentoring. Please kindly make a donation. Just click on the Donate Now link. This will take you to our donation page. Thank You for all your support.


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