Stay True to You – safety campaign

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Parents and communities offered training as new website and safety campaign launches at start of Knife Crime Awareness Week

Stay True to You” has been developed by the Violence Prevention Partnership and takes a deliberately positive approach to empowering young people and helping those who work to support them. 

Jules Bottazzi, Head of the Violence Prevention Partnership, said: “In designing this new approach to help promote safety for young people we have responded to what they told us: ‘Be positive, don’t speak down to us, instead help us be confident to make the right choices, and to know there is always someone to speak to if needed’.

“We know the best chance of reaching young people is through those adults they trust for advice – their parents, teachers, but in particular youth workers, sports coaches, volunteers, community or faith group leaders.  

“We have new resources and training opportunities to help, so if you’re starting a conversation with someone about safety, start with the Stay True to You approach and resources.”

Stay True To You offers:

  • A new website providing advice, resources and signposting to support and services
  • Leading knife crime charity The Ben Kinsella Trust is offering a series of free online parent/carer information sessions throughout June:
    • Thursday 6 June –  6:30-8:30pm 
    • Tuesday 11 June –  6:30-8:30pm
    • Thursday 20 June – 1-3pm
    • Friday 28 June – 10am-12pm
  • Materials and training sessions are being offered to all those who have a role working with young people
  • Workshops will be given in schools and youth groups to help young people to acknowledge the things they can do for themselves to stay safe and to consider who they can ask for help if needed.

Also published today are the findings of the research which underpins the campaign, conducted with young people and youth workers from across the Thames Valley. It explored what they think causes – and helps prevent – conflict and violence, and how best to communicate with young people. 

  • Young people want – and need – to make their own decisions about their safety, to be confident to make their own positive choices, without being patronised
  • Fear is the biggest driver to conflict, leading to weapon carrying and escalation into violence.
  • The power of trusted adults – parents, teachers, youth workers, sports coaches, community volunteers; these are the people that young people listen to for advice and would turn to if they need help
  • All adults have a role to play and it is through good supportive conversations that they can build trust and help young people
  • Young people wanted a vibrant and upbeat approach – without traumatic images and dwelling heavily on future consequences; they live in the here and now!

The website and resources are available at and will continue to be developed over the coming months.

Online information sessions will be offered by the Ben Kinsella Trust through to the end of July.

The campaign will begin rolling out across the Thames Valley from today – with partner members (including councils, police, fire & rescue, health, education and voluntary sector organisations) promoting the resources, involving/training their staff and being encouraged to promote the resources through their own channels.