Young people will get more support from a younger age thanks to a new council partnership.

Waltham Forest Council has teamed up with the charity Barnado’s and is supporting the Young Advisors group in the borough to tackle the root causes of youth violence.

The children’s charity has been funded by the authority to provided life skills lessons for primary school children to make them emotionally more resilient and stop children from becoming involved in youth crime later in life.

Alex Hobman, based at Barnado’s since November 2018, explained teachers at 27 primary schools are being trained to provide nine one-hour lessons focusing on resilience, emotional development, stress and self-esteem.

Ms Hobman said: “For every £1 spent on Life Skills, the council will save £25 on other services further down the line, such as mental health support.

“It will be hugely money saving for the council. We’re hoping to reach these children early and want to roll the scheme out to secondary schools in future.”

The scheme is currently focusing on Year 4 pupils and will be rolled out to Years 5 and 6 over the next two years.

The programme hopes to reach up to 10,000 pupils over the next three years.

For taxpayers, the whole scheme is costing just £45 per pupil.

At the same time, young people from the borough’s Young Advisors group are being supported by the council and funded by the Mayor of London’s Young Londoners’ Fund to conduct peer patrols out on the borough’s streets.

The scheme, known as Streetbase, is based on a model used successfully in Southwark for the last 10 years.

The group will talk to other teens, encouraging them to make use of local services and avoid a life of crime in future.

Members of the Young Advisors are all local young adults some of whom have either experienced, witnessed or played a part in youth crime in their past. Some members have been in prison before and turned their lives around.

It is hoped these young people chatting to their peers out on the streets will be able to signpost services and stop teens from going down the wrong path.

Katy Thompson, 22 from Waltham Forest, is the leader of the street patrolling group known as Streetbase, whose members all live in the borough.

She said: “We’re trying to catch young people at peak times in the evening, building a relationship with them all the time and pointing them towards services that might be useful to them.

“Anything from mental health services to youth centres and dance classes.

“We’re working closely with the council and the borough’s anti-social behaviour team to help young people develop their futures, their skills.

“I’m really excited, this is our borough, where we live and we’re helping to deliver the services young people need.

“We’ve all been trained up with a wide range of skills to do that.”

Katie explained there will be 34 young people involved in the street patrols, chatting with other young people they meet while out and about.

She added between them, those 34 have a diverse range of experiences and skills.

Cllr Clare Coghill, council leader, said: “It’s very exciting. As a civilised society we should be putting everything we can into working together and supporting young people.

“Some of the things these children have been through are incomprehensible and children’s social care is such a reflective sector, they are good at sitting back and thinking on times when things don’t work and what needs to change.

“But there is no complacency around this. We know some of these problems will not be solved overnight, but as a community, as a society, we know we need to do this.”

Sophie Linden, deputy mayor for policing and crime, visited the borough last week to see what the council and its partners are doing to tackle crime in the area and see how the Mayor of London’s funding is being put to use.

She is taking ideas about best practice when tackling youth crime back from Waltham Forest to feed to other boroughs and vice versa.

She said: “It feels energetic. Waltham Forest is a great example of what can be achieved when different parties work together.

“It is very important to have local leaders that are driving things forward in positive ways.”