A project aimed at improving the safety of young people in London has made it through to the shortlist for a national award that celebrates the best community projects

Staying safeFunded by the Big Lottery, Staying Safe works with young people to design, develop and deliver campaigns to raise awareness of the impact of crime and gang culture.  

Key campaigns include the award winning Oii my Size, a web campaign demonstrating the right and wrong ways for boys to talk to girls, and knife awareness campaign Your Choice, Your Future, now also an augmented reality app and website.

Uniting communities through opportunities

Staying Safe was among those selected from almost 180 entries for the National Housing Federation’s Community Impact Awards.

The awards celebrate the difference that England’s housing associations make through creating opportunities and bringing local communities together. More than 60 projects were shortlisted, across four categories: Better neighbourhoods; Greener living; Health and wellbeing, and Investing in people.

Staying Safe has helped young people and others to understand the impact of knife, gang and gun crime on our communities. So far 138 young people have developed the skills to manage a campaign, while 20,388 have been indirectly engaged through a range of other channels including posters, merchandise, events and festivals.

Making a national impact

The project will go up against other regional schemes on 8 May in London, where it will be competing to win the regional award in the Federation’s "Better Neighbourhoods" category, against:

  • Colne Housing Society: "Hythe Forward"
  • Swan Housing Association: "Bow Cross"

The winner from this category will join others from around the country in the national shortlist. A judging day will decide which of the final category winners goes to the national finals in central London on 12 June 2014.

Veronica Kirwan, Community Services Director at Peabody, said:

“We are delighted to be shortlisted for this award, alongside some great projects that are making a real difference to communities across London. With an emphasis on youth ambassadorship and peer mentoring, Staying Safe is an excellent example of how our youth projects are empowering young people to take the lead when tackling issues that affect their day-to-day lives.”