I’ve been getting support from VIP for just over a year.
My son has had problems with a rival gang.
I have been very worried about his safety and well-being. He is known through social media and I had a general concern about him appearing in Drill music videos showing his face when everyone else was covering theirs.
I’ve had concerns around certain incidents involving his friends being stabbed or targeted at their homes and my sons name has been mentioned. Knowing such information can’t be ignored.
I lived on an estate in Hammersmith and Fulham where it was very open. There would always be a new set of boys hanging around my house. Everyone knew my son lived there and it would have been so easy for an incident occurring there.
While going through such issues, having support from people who actually seem to understand what you’re going through is amazing. It’s been like having a third eye. Charlie always seems to know what’s going on within my son and his peers which is amazing as I’ve been able to keep one step ahead being informed by VIP.
I’ve had situations where my son hasn’t returned home, and they have actually lived it with me. Any time of the day or night, VIP have supported me. Having me and my son engage with them by home visits or by taking my son out for a one to one has been positive. It is needed. These people get it they understand from the parents point a view but always take on board the young person’s feelings and opinions.
They have assisted with my family being able to move and be somewhere safer where we are not known. There must be so many other families going through what I’ve had to injure that need this help I’m sure. No one can go through these kinds of situations alone.
While other agencies take a harsher approach, VIP are caring and understanding and generally want the best for the young person and the family.
We are safe now with the help of VIP and I still have a home visit or a conversation by phone.
I am grateful for being supported by VIP and I’m definitely certain other families could benefit from VIP
Social Worker Testimonial #1
I have found that having V.I.P as part of the professional network within my role has enabled me to sync our partnership working to ensure that the young person has expert wrap around support.
This wrap around support has seen the V.I.P worker undertaking visits to the young person at different locations, at unsociable hours, weekends and carrying out return missing interviews.
Though information sharing I was then able to address any actions that may have been raised through these visits.
The non -statutory role of V.I.P has worked very well within the case, as there have been many times that I have asked the V.I.P worker if they could discuss with the young person their expectations from social services alongside the placement procedures.
This practice has on many occasions meant that the young person has been more receptive and understanding of the processes and procedures I need to follow to make the next steps happen.
Our seamless partnership working has enabled myself and the V.I.P worker to discuss risky behaviours or concerning matters that we have both identified in the young person’s life with a view to put in strategies that we can both promote to the young person.
The V.I.P workers expertise in relation to gangs, county lines and court procedures has served very well in this case as he has given support, advice and guidance to the young person through his court case. This has seen the worker undertake sessions with the young person on what is expectant on him in the court room and in front of the judge.
This has eased my role through supporting the young person in court.
Social Worker Testimonial #2
I have been working with The VIP with the young person “C” (16 years) who has strong links to county lines, recruiting of other young people into county lines, and selling of drugs. “C” came late into the care system as a result of him experience neglect from his mother. “C” has very limited interaction or communication with his birth family or mother even though they live and socialise in the H&F area like himself. “C” is a frequent MISPER who is unable to recognise the risk he places himself in when missing. Recently (since April) B has had significant long periods of time being missing and has stopped engaging with his placement and many professionals.
The VIP worker however has been the only adult to keep interactions going with “C” during these missing episodes. “C” has shown that The VIP worker has become a safe haven for him when he feels he may need adult support or guidance. “C” reached out to The VIP worker when things have become too much for him and has continued to keep her part of his network, this was clearly displayed when “C” lost a friend early this year due to a fatal stabbing.
“C” has been open with his emotion and spoken to The VIP worker openly about his current lifestyle. Considering “C” has difficulty forming attachments especially with women. His ability to talk and listen to The VIP worker suggest to me he has formed a positive bond which also suggest he trust The VIP worker also. The VIP worker has physically gone looking for “C” in the community and physically taken him to appointments and moved him placement she has used these opportunities to speak with him about his lifestyle and keeping himself safe. Her talks with “C” have been a consistent reminder to him that there are adults that still care about him. The relationship The VIP worker and “C” have I do feel when he ready to make change “C” will turn to The VIP worker for help as she has become a person he can trust and be vulnerable in front of.
Sam’s ability to gain information from “C” has enabled the team around “C” to do clear mapping and effective risk assessments. Not only has The VIP worker gone over and beyond been supportive towards “C” but also me. She been able to complete all actions in time scale and been able to communicate well with myself, which has also included conversation where by the odd conversation of us sharing our frustrations has been super helpful as sometimes others who don’t work with “C” don’t always understand the difficulties faced when trying to keep him safe.
Overall, it’s been a pleasure to work alongside The VIP worker and I thank her very much for her ongoing support and efforts with “C”.
Probation Officer Testimonial
The involvement of the Violence Intervention Project in the management of my case has felt like a significant game-changer. Having found myself feeling stuck and overwhelmed with the issues and risks faced by the young person I was working with, the VIP offered me the much-needed helping hand.
Working with Charlie and Ashley has been an absolute pleasure. The unique and creative approach Ashley brings to working with young people is truly refreshing and inspirational. Working with him has enabled me to develop my own practice as a Probation Officer.
Together as a team we were able to support a young man and help him take his first steps into the complexities and challenges of adult life.
In particular I remember the shopping trip we took with the young man. We were purchasing items for his new room, helping him settle into independent living for the very first time. It really felt like we were doing something worthwhile and important.