Background to the Ascension Trust Synergy Partnership

On the 4th May 2017 Ascension Trust held a gathering of community groups and agencies that are working successfully in the area of serious youth violence. This follows on from our ‘Bringing Hope’ event in 2016 where over fifty organizations came together.

Ascension trust has been at the forefront of efforts to tackle gang and gun violence in the UK. Its first major initiative, the ‘guns off our streets’ campaign launched in 1993 had a significant impact upon many communities affected by serious violence. Academic studies have also shown the beneficial sociological impact that Ascension Trust has had in terms of the reduction of crime. Many areas of London have particularly high levels of gun and gang-related violence and therefore a vital need for strategic intervention. Ascension Trust, with its successful history of working in this area, its wide infrastructure and experience is ideally placed to make a significant difference with the creation and co-coordination of a new network comprised of four voluntary sector agencies in London.

The Nature of the Problem – a lack of Synergy

At present, there is a problem with the lack of synergy in the public and voluntary sector to tackling violence, guns, gangs and other social problems. The majority of agencies tend to work independently of each other without sharing their intelligence and/or resources. This inevitably results in some re-duplication of efforts and an overlapping of efforts among neighbouring community projects. The lack of a coherent, strategic approach lessens the overall effectiveness of efforts to reduce crime and alleviate social problems. Ascension Trust firmly believes that some of these groups could be much stronger by working together- the whole being greater than the sum of the parts. By identifying the best practice and specialisms among charitable organizations that partner with Ascension Trust, vulnerable groups, people at risk and those in need of advice would be referred to the best outlets to help them.

A Holistic Approach to Serious Violence

The main contributory factors to crime have been shown to be: family breakdown; peer-group pressures, poor education, deprivation, alcoholism, mental health and domestic violence. Ascension Trust will partner with agencies that have specialisms in the three main areas of family and domestic violence; education and mentoring; gangs and peer-pressure. The agencies will work together with vulnerable families and individuals in a joined-up manner taking a holistic approach to the problem. This holistic approach to serious violence is the key to impacting the community in a positive