Case Study: St Giles Trust

Framing Exploitation and Violence, from Terrorism to Knife Crime

In recent months, headlines have been filled with horrific acts of violence – from terror in New Zealand and Sri Lanka, to the proliferation of young people stabbed to death on our streets. While the expressions of these forms of violence appear unrelated – Far Right hate, Extreme Islamist ideology, gang related crime and young people’s fear – the intersections and roots of these forms of violence are very much shared. While the journeys that people experience on the path to violence differ from individual to individual (see our report Formers and Families for examples), there are vulnerabilities and challenges, push-factors and pull-factors, that young people in particular face, that can be exploited in myriad ways by predators of all stripes.

But we are not helpless in the face of this violence – effective, multiple interventions, by organisations across the sectors, can build young people’s resilience. It requires knowledge – contextual and practical – and it requires credibility – delivering it to young people through powerful connection and engagement.

ConnectFutures’ partnership with St Giles Trust is a great example of this – our BRAVE programme, through which our teams engage young people in educational and community settings to build resilience to both gang and extremist recruitment, is in its third successful year. We have witnessed the ways in which young people respond to the sales pitches and fear mongering of criminal gangs and extremists, and we have taken pride in their understanding that violence is not an inevitability. It can be stopped. We have seen young people change their attitudes, change their behaviours and change their outlooks, when they can see through the hype or lack of hope, protect themselves, and imagine positive alternatives. This collection of thought pieces was collated from our forums and blogs, in which we have exchanged ideas over time, and learned that all of us – the multitude of organizations working with young people – hold knowledge and practice that needs to be shared.

Both the frameworks of our thinking, and the practical tools we utilise. This resource provides a taster of the ethos and ideas that are important, from human rights to gender conscious approaches, and practical tips, from organisational processes to youth engagement. We thus hope that reading, reflecting and exchanging between practitioners, academics and across sectors will not only help us share best practice, but help innovate new practice, and reduce violence in whatever form it takes.


Framing Exploitation and Violence, from Terrorism to Knife Crime


St Giles Trust

What We Did

Training, Report & Consultation