Growing Against Violence provides evidence-based public health and public safety education and training for children and young people in schools and since 2008 we have reached nearly 180,000 young people across 700 schools in London and beyond.
GAV delivers primarily to 9- to 15-year-old students, who are at the ‘reachable moment’ before secondary interventions are required.  Our programmes provide dynamic life skills and violence resistance education and training to support safe and enabling school environments.
Universal delivery to all students in a single year group helps to develop ‘herd’ resistance and the positive peer pressure needed to reject violence and the negative norms and values associated with it.
We have also developed programmes for parents and professionals as a way of broadening our reach to young people.
This primary prevention initiative has four key goals:
  • To reduce the appeal of violence amongst young people
  • To improve confidence of young people in police
  • To provide a safe space for young people to disclose violent victimisation
  • To be the information hub on violence (for schools, young people, professionals, parents and communities).
Programmes for young people
Friends s Friendly
100 minutes for year 6 pupils
This programme teaches year 6 school children about the exploitative nature of gangs dispelling the myths that gangs are conventional friendship groups that provide people with protection.
Our facilitators help young people create positive peer pressure to reject gang culture whilst providing all with basic personal safety advice.
This programme helps students understand how gangs recruit members and subsequently be more likely to:
  • Recognise the difference between friendship and friendly
  • Understand that gangs are not conventional friendship groups and that they exploit young people
  • Identify strategies for keeping themselves safe and avoid becoming gang involved.
Myths & Realities
100 minutes for year 7 & 8 pupils
This session is designed to identify and challenge the main ‘pull factors’ that drive gang recruitment so that young people are better placed to make informed decisions as to whether they themselves will become gang involved.
The session looks at the exploitative nature of gangs in order to dispel gang ‘mythology’.  This is important as it helps to undermine the reputations of gangs and gang members so that the vast majority of young people can collectively reject gang culture in order to create positive peer pressure.
This session also seeks to increase confidence of young people in Police.
After this programme students will:
  • Understand the consequences of gangs for individuals within gangs, for their families and for the wider community
  • Be able to identify/ define what a gang is and how it is distinct from a peer group
  • Critically examine the reasons why people join gangs and separate some of the myths from the realities of life in a gang.
Weapons, Choices & Consequences
100 minutes for year 7 & 8 pupils
This session is designed to help young people understand how gang membership is correlated with becoming a perpetrator or victim of knife crime and why weapons intended to protect are liable to endanger.  The session looks at the choices young people make when carrying and using a knife and how gang membership significantly reduces the freedom you have to say no. it also looks at the consequences of non-fatal knife injuries and the broader impact of fatal injuries to those close to the victim.
At the end of this session students will be able to:
  • Identify why gang members are more likely to be a victim of knife crime and why they are also more likely to carry and use knives
  • Recognise why carrying a knife does not offer protection or respect
  • Recognise the consequences of stabbing someone and understand that there is no safe place to stab someone
  • Understand the doctrine of joint enterprise.
Stop & Search
100 minutes for year 8 & 9 pupils
The aim of this programme is to improve the confidence of young people in the effective use of stop and search as a tool to keep them safe.  This helps relationships between the police and young people and helps prevent distrust and unnecessary conflict.
Students who attend this programme will:
  • Understand their rights and responsibilities in a stop and search scenario
  • Identify the consequences of young people and police of negatively stereotyping each other
  • Understand profiling and intelligence-led stops.
Anti-Social Media
100 minutes for year 8, 9 & 10 pupils
The aim of this programme is to reduce peer-on-peer bullying and understand their role in sexting, grooming and how to get support.
At the end of this session students should have a greater understanding of what happens online can hurt them off-line. During this session they will explore:
  • The relationship young people have with their phones and ascertain why phones are so integral to young people’s lives
  • Identify the large number of social media platforms that co-exist
  • Identify the positives and negatives of social media use
  • Consider how males and females can be inaccurately portrayed in on line music videos.
It’s not just Girls, Gangs & Consequences
100 minutes for year 10 pupils
The aim of this programme is to educate students about rape and raise their awareness about what it means to give and receive consent for sexual activities. It also examines the impact of social media on sexual behaviour and exploitation.
At the end of this session students should have a greater understanding of:
  • What consent really means
  • How to manage boundaries and deflect unwanted attention or sexual harassment
  • How to make a reasoned and informed decision
  • Identifying and managing healthy relationships
  • Where and how to get help
We are currently developing two new programmes for primary school pupils around social media, gaming and bullying.
We also run programmes for parents and professionals.
Please contact us on to learn more.