Sunday, 07 August 2022

New youth worker to help tackle knife crime

File picture of Caversham

A NEW youth worker will be based in the communities of Caversham, Thameside and Mapledurham to help tackle knife crime.

It is being funded by the Diocese of Oxford as part the latest round of grants from its Development Fund, totalling £100,000 for community projects across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.

The fund assists churches across the diocese which are encouraged to explore and engage with their communities and be missionally creative and sustainable in response to local challenges.

The youth worker is being introduced in response to the murder of teenager Olly Stephens, who was killed in Emmer Green last year and they will work with young people to nurture their faith and encourage outreach to other young people in the community.

They will also partner with local organisations to create safe spaces for young people.

Rev Penny Cuthburt, associate vicar of St John the Baptist, Caversham, said: “We have a growing cohort of young people who deserve support and time invested in them to help them flourish and become confident in sharing their faith.

“There is also a real need to tackle the alarming rise in knife crime and violence among young people. So, in working with organisations across the area, we hope to be able to offer young people safe spaces where they can spend time with their friends and find support from good role models and mentors.”

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