In 2013 we won the Spirit of Manchester Awards for going above and beyond our duties making a significant impact on people’s lives and wellbeing in Manchester. Last year we won the Redemption and Justice award for best partnership on our Safer Streets project. Help us keep up the good work by donating or volunteering with our staff team!
An Evaluation of the Safer Streets Pilot Project 2013–14 by Dr Michael Atkins PhD
The Safer Streets Pilot was a seven-month outreach project, co-designed/co-produced by Survivors Manchester, The Men’s Room and Mancunian Way. Its primary aim was to promote community cohesion and interrupt the sexual exploitation of children and young people along an identified route in the City Centre of Manchester. The project was conducted between 1 August 2013 – 31 March 2014.
This evaluation of the Safer Streets Pilot Project was commissioned collectively by the agencies with funds kindly provided by Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd; with a view to exploring the projects long-term sustainability and possible expansion. Using anthropology techniques, the evaluation involved undertaking face to face interviews with key members of staff from each agency; participant observation on a number of outreach sessions with Safer Streets staff; and a complete review and analysis of the project’s policies, procedures and engagement statistics.
The full report can be downloaded below, or viewed as an online PDF here.
• 134 hours of outreach delivered by Safer Streets team. • 67 individual outreach excursions were completed. • 60 individual young men selling sex or at risk of sexual exploitation were directly engaged with.
There is no denying that the pilot phase of the Safer Streets project has been a huge success, not only for the identification and action of a serious safeguarding case, but the relationships that have been strengthened with the young men.
‘Surviving in Manchester: Narratives on movement from the Men’s Room, Manchester’ – Research Report
This report was completed in spring 2014; it is a culmination of a year’s worth of work by Dr Jenny Hughes – Senior Lecturer in Drama at the University of Manchester – and Dr Alastair Roy – Senior Lecturer at the Psychosocial Research Unit based at the University of Central Lancashire. ‘Surviving in Manchester’ was commissioned by the Lankelly Chase Foundation (LCF) and aimed to explore young men’s routes into the Men’s Room as well as how they defined successful service provision.
The young men accessing the service are distinguished by their sense of ‘otherness’ and there is a need to acknowledge this experience without further stigmatization and the Men’s Room provides a space for this to happen by offering arts projects that explore as well as celebrate their experiences.
The organisation’s relational approach and arts-based methodologies provides one of the few spaces in which the fragile self-perception of these young men is conjoined with those of staff and volunteers. This combines to create a sense for participants that the ‘door is always open’.
Pedagogy Culture and Society: Voices from an Edge. Unsettling the practices of youth voice and participation: arts based practice in The Blue Room Manchester
Janet Batsleer Principal Lecturer in Youth and Community Work at Manchester Metropolitan University.
The arts and creativity-based work give permission to play, be silly, be free like a child.
On the whole, young men feel empowered by their involvement in ‘The Blue Room’: the words that occur most frequently, when they are asked what they think and feel about their involvement in The Blue Room, alongside ‘dunno’ and ‘don’t care’ are ‘memorable’, ‘exciting’ and ‘PROUD’.
The boys who use The Blue Room say that rather than ‘having to live like a ghost’ (which is how they live their lives on the street), being involved in this work ‘makes them feel part of real life’.