Growing Against Violence provides evidence-based public health and public safety education and training for children and young people in schools. We follow the World Health Organisation’s ‘public health approach to tackling violence’, using data to identify risk and protective factors for violence and to deliver evidence-based violence prevention programming. We see violence as a disease that is preventable rather than inevitable and examine the causes of violence using a listening and investigative approach that is demonstrated to tease out issues specific to local communities.
The charity grew out of a 2008 partnership with London’s Metropolitan Police Service and has since been delivered to over 180,000 students in nearly 700 schools, making it the largest programme of its kind in the United Kingdom. We have established bespoke delivery models in 16 London Boroughs and counties including Surrey and Bedfordshire.
Our funders include Local Authorities, Police Crime Commissioners, Comic Relief, Woodward Charitable Trust, Thrale Almshouses and the Home Office.
Our Board and Senior Management of GAV are diverse and multi-disciplinary, with personal and professional expertise in violence prevention. This unique partnership brings together senior professionals from health; law, policing, academia, accounting, I.T., and the private sector to provide effective governance and support the Charity thrive and expand.
In 2017, three of our co-founders were awarded ‘Points of Lights’ awards by the Prime Minister for their contributions to volunteering.
Please go to our Programmes to learn more about how we help students develop the life skills they need to resist violence and negative norms.
Board Members & Trustees
Allen Davis, Chair
Allen Davis is one of the co-founders of GAV. As well as being our chair he is co-author of the GAV curriculum. He is an Inspector in the Metropolitan Police Officer, having joined in 1996 after graduating from Durham University. He currently leads the MPS operational response to Harmful Practices and Honour Based Abuse.
Edward Brown QC has an outstanding practice in criminal law and related areas (regulatory, health and safety, inquests), chiefly at the Central Criminal Court where until 2014 he was Senior Treasury Counsel. He has prosecuted or defended in many of the most notable and sensitive cases, including murder, terrorism, corporate and individual fraud, corporate manslaughter, police and political corruption, and export control evasion. He lectures young gang members on the consequences of joint enterprise gang violence.
Chris Heawood, Treasurer
Chris has worked at Deloitte for over 7 years and qualified as a Chartered Accountant (ACA) in 2013. He joined Deloitte as a graduate from Durham University and works in the Transaction Services team (within corporate finance) and primarily performs financial due diligence work on proposed M&A transactions.
Amina Gillani, Secretary
Amina has extensive experience as a consultant in user experience, business strategy and project management working. She previously worked for Ernst & Young Consulting. Her primary interest is in children and public law and she recently retrained as a lawyer. She has an LLM with Distinction from SOAS, University of London where she researched radicalisation of British Muslims.
Dr Duncan Bew
Dr Duncan Bew is a consultant surgeon at King’s College London and is involved in the Global Surgery work at the Centre, is Clinical Lead for Trauma and Emergency Surgery at Kings College Hospital and the South East Kent and Medway (SELKAM) trauma network. He is also an honorary Trauma Consultant at St Marys Hospital, Paddington.
Andrew Bilecki is a technology professional with over 20 years of experience working with public and privately companies in Europe, Asia the US. He has helped a number of large companies transform their businesses and several tech start-ups to grow.
Dr Simon Harding
Dr Simon Harding is a Professor in Criminology at University of West London. He has published extensively on topics such as hate crime, gangs and group offending, community safety, policing, youth justice, status dogs and dog fighting. He regularly appears in the media as a Criminology commentator.
Máire is a Customer Experience practitioner and helps organisations transform their customer experience models, innovate and grow. She has worked with the BBC, Thomson Reuters, Evaluate and the HMCTS. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA).
Dr Fiona Burford
Fiona is a senior civil servant working for the City of London Corporation with a role as an Assistant Private Secretary in a private office. She has over 15 years' experience in corporate affairs, charity governance and programme management, and although she has worked internationally, the majority of her career has been centred on the City of London. She holds a joint honours degree in Zoology and Psychology, a PhD in Zoology and a Level 5 NVQ in Leadership & Management. Fiona has been involved with GAV since 2016 and became a Trustee in 2017.
Lord Paddick, Patron & Lords Spokesperson for Home Affairs
Brian was appointed to the House of Lords in September 2013.
He was a police officer for over 30 years rising to the most senior levels of the Metropolitan Police at Scotland Yard. He was widely praised for his role as police spokesman following the terrorist attacks on London in 2005. Brian was also the most senior openly gay police officer in the UK.
Brian stood as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London in 2008 and in 2012. In 2015 he was appointed as Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson in the Lords. In October 2016 he was made Shadow Secretary of State for the Home Department under Tim Farron.
Advisory Board Members
Elena Noel MSc is an innovative leader whose partnership work has led and driven the change agenda on crime in the London Borough of Southwark. In her previous role as Co-Chair of Southwark Safer Neighbourhood Board (MOPAC), 19 community projects, funded by the Mayor of London, tackling community safety and serious youth violence and knife crime, were created under her leadership (2014 - 2016).
Maziar is Senior Counsel at HSBC Global and Global Head of Innovation at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP. He is a specialist in charity governance and has helped GAV since 2015 and helped form GAV as a charity.
Michelle Lyttle Storrod
Michelle is currently a Childhood Studies PhD Student at Rutgers. She is also an affiliate of the Department of Social Work’s SafeLab at Columbia University. She has shared her Masters research ‘Digital Artefact V’s Digital Fingerprint: An Ethnography of Gangs Online’ as training for the Metropolitan Police, the UK Ministry of Justice, and the National Prison and Probation Service. Michelle has also shared this research at the House of Lords and published an article on her findings in the Journal of Youth Studies.
Dr James Densley
Dr. James Densley is an Associate Professor in Criminal Justice at Metropolitan State University. He is the author of How Gangs Work: An Ethnography of Youth Violence (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), and co-author of Minnesota’s Criminal Justice System (Carolina Academic Press, 2016). Densley co-founded Growing Against Gangs and Violence, forerunner to Growing Against Violence. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and an Associate of the Extra-Legal Governance Institute at the University of Oxford.
Mary Gibson works with young offenders and troubled families at , amongst others, Wandsworth and Lambeth youth offending teams , st Michaels fellowship , working with men, fatherhood development foundation, calm restorative justice and the evening standard dispossessed fund.
Joanna R. Adler
Professor Joanna R. Adler is a practitioner forensic psychologist, fellow of the RSA and HEA and professor of forensic psychology at Middlesex University. As Director of Forensic Psychological Services at Middlesex University, Joanna works closely with practitioners and those who are involved in implementing criminal and civil justice. Joanna is the founder of the Forensic Psychology Research Group and Director of Forensic Psychological Services (FPS), each within the School of Science and Technology at Middlesex University. Broadly speaking, Joanna’s interests relate to how the criminal justice system works and the ramifications of criminal justice within society.
Stuart Trayler, CEO
Stuart is an established senior manager with over 30 years comprehensive
policing experience. He has previously held senior positions in the MPS and has led staff in
multi-disciplinary team environments. He has expertise in strategic planning, partnership and people/team development. He has advised colleagues and partners on community safety issues throughout the world.
Shaun is an ex-Police Officer with over 30 years policing experience. In his last post he was responsible for the delivery of neighbourhood policing and partnership. He was instrumental in coordinating activity to solve local community safety issues raising public confidence and increasing engagement.
Guy Howford, Senior facilitator
Guy is a retired Police Officer. During the last 9 years of his service, Guy was seconded as a Schools Liaison Officer to a semi inner London secondary school. This post allowed him to engage with young people, share insight into the risks associated with a lifestyle of crime and violence. He is extremely passionate about helping young people to recognise their full potential. Guy delivers the full GAV curriculum and continues his youth work by managing a local youth football team.