Students present youth violence solutions to the Home Office

Students visiting the Home Office

On Wednesday 29 May, four of our students visited the Home Office to present their proposed solution to the problem of youth violence following their success at our ‘Transform Challenge Day’.

The ‘Transform Challenge Day’ brought together a number of local and national organisations with a common agenda: how do we reduce youth violence? Five teams of our students competed against each other to propose the best solution, with the winning team receiving the opportunity to present their ideas to leading civil servants, including Dame Julia Cleverdon, at the Home Office in London.

They were presented with academic research in the area from our Department of Criminology, took part in immersive exercises organised by local police, prisons and schools to understand their perspectives on the issue, and heard from youth offenders themselves. Their solutions were then considered by an expert panel.

The winning team included Darshan Leslie (Politics and International Relations), Holly Morris (Criminology), Haider-Ali Maqsood (Politics and International Relations), Kianna Hanson (Sociology), and Lakeisha Crawford (Criminology).

Rob Fryer, Director of Student Life, said: “I was very proud watching our students speak so passionately and articulately on this issue. It was wonderful to hear such positive feedback from the senior figures at the Home Office and we look forward to more and more of our students being able to access opportunities like these.”

Darshan Leslie, a first-year student in Politics and International Relations, said: “The Transform experience has been incredible, giving young people like me the opportunity to think critically about the issues affecting us, and the invaluable chance to play a small part in finding solutions. This opportunity has also helped me to build upon my existing experience and skill set, enabling me to become a better team player and communicator.”

Holly Morris, a first-year Criminology student, said: “The experience for me was extraordinary, I have gained a drive to take more opportunities in the future to pursue what I am passionate about, including continuing to help reduce youth violence. I also gained great communication skills as I was liaising with a number of different people, from fellow students to senior members of the Home Office.”

The students and the University will be working with Dame Julia Cleverdon, the Transform Society and the Home Office to see how our students can continue to make a difference and put some of their ideas into practice.

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