A scheme set up to reduce crime and improve the life chances of people in Haringey has reached 6,000 youngsters.

The team behind Haringey Community Gold celebrated hitting its main targets of engaging with 6,000 young people and having more than 1,500 complete a programme of activity during an event in Wood Green in September.

Launched in 2019, the scheme – run by the council and a range of voluntary and community sector partners – aims to prevent serious youth violence in the borough by reducing the risk of young people getting caught up in crime. 

It works through providing outreach and engagement, employment support, sports and play, mentoring, mental health support and leadership training. 

Eubert Malcolm, Haringey Council’s assistant director for stronger and safer communities, said he thought the success of the scheme could already be seen in falling crime figures. Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service on Thursday, he said: “I think Community Gold is one of the reasons why serious youth violence, robbery, gun crime is falling. It is a partnership, but I think that is one of the reasons.”

Figures presented to Haringey’s community safety partnership this month showed total crime in the borough fell by 3 per cent during the twelve months to August and 8 per cent over the past three years. Knife crime, robbery, and knife crime with injury victims aged under 25 were all down by nearly a third during the past year, falling more sharply than across London as a whole.

Mr Malcolm said the impact of Community Gold could also be felt by talking to young people who had taken part in the programme.

He said: “Some of our young people were falling behind at school but, working with us, have turned that around. You have got some kids going to Oxford and Cambridge. If you think about the training they are undertaking, some of them have got accreditations now, and we are getting people into paid employment, people accessing mental health services. 

“There are so many activities that I think have led to the impact to support our young people. If you think about life chances, not being able to finish your GCSEs is one thing, but being able to turn that around and finish your GCSEs and moving on to the next stage of your life is key, really, for our young people to be successful.”

He also revealed the Community Gold partnership had “overachieved” when it came to young people completing a programme of activity, with more than 3,000 completions – double the 1,500 target.

Haringey Council and its partners received £1.5 million from City Hall’s Young Londoners Fund to deliver the three-year programme. Mr Malcolm said the project currently had funding to the end of the financial year, which is in April. He added that the council “will be exploring all avenues, internally and externally” in an effort to secure funding to continue the scheme.