Skip to content

Peer Action Collective teams to break down barriers to positive activities to support young people away from violence 

We’re the Peer Action Collective (PAC), a movement of young people across England and Wales committed to preventing youth violence. Being involved in positive activities can be an effective way to do this. We want to break down barriers to ensure that young people at risk of violence feel like they can access and benefit from positive activities. 

Young people from Bradford, Hull and Birmingham will spend the next 18 months doing peer research to listen to over 1,500 young people to learn how positive activities can help them move away from violence. We will use the research to create change; carrying out social action based on the findings to improve positive activities to support young people to make positive choices in their lives. 

The challenge

Positive activities help children and young people improve their physical and mental health, develop positive behaviours, and build confidence. But we need to know more about the impact on young people’s involvement in crime and violence. We need to learn why positive activities might work; what it is about involvement in things like sports or arts that could help to protect young people from violence. 

These questions cannot be answered without asking young people, which is why our work is driven by young people affected by violence who are passionate about using their experiences to drive real-world change. As one member of our team in Bradford summarises: 

“By actively involving young people in the research process, we ensure that our findings are directly relevant and tailored to their needs and aspirations. Ultimately, the provision of positive activities will divert attention away from antisocial behaviours and youth crime and violence, thereby contributing to a decrease in crime rates and the cultivation of a population with stronger values.” 

What are PAC Teams doing in response?

Our first projects around positive activities are kicking off this March – here is what we will be researching:

In Birmingham… 

Supported by Bringing Hope, the team is interested in how we can support young people to navigate online spaces safely, in a context of easy access to violent content and negative role models. The team is particularly concerned that young people are exposed to this content constantly, without comprehensive support. They are also interested in how positive role models and organisations offering positive activities can be better supported to use social media and other platforms more effectively.

In Bradford and Hull… 

Supported by the Bradford City FC Community Foundation and the Tigers Trust, alongside the EFL Trust, the team are interested in the barriers preventing young people from accessing positive activities. They want to know how young people can feel comfortable, safe and confident in accessing positive activities that could protect them from involvement in violence. From barriers ranging from accessibility, cultural competence and mental health, the team will explore the range of barriers and how they can be overcome. 

Peter Walker, PAC Project Manager at the EFL Trust said: “This will be a really interesting topic involving young people who are from a range of diverse communities. They will talk to our Peer Researchers about the barriers they face to ensure that take part in positive activities, and how they can be made more accessible, safer and more comfortable to those most vulnerable to youth crime and violence.”

Cree Amory-Reid, a Peer Researcher from Birmingham expresses their hopes for the project, as well as setting out the important context that their research is taking place in: 

How can you support our work?

Our goal is to find the best ways that positive activities can support young people affected by violence. If you are interested in finding out more, or supporting our teams, please get in touch with us: You can support by: 

We are ambitious in the change we want to see from our research and would really appreciate your support in helping us to make a difference. As one member of our team in Hull sums up: 

“I hope to achieve change for young people and give others better opportunities in life. I would like to tell the world that change needs to happen for young people. People need to stop overlooking us and take action.”   

Funded by the Youth Endowment Fund, the #iwill Fund (a joint investment between The National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport) and the Co-op, the PAC is here to support young people to take the lead.  

Latest News

For a better viewing experience we recommend you upgrade your browser.