South East London Vanguard Programme

Supporting young people and families affected by violence

17 May 2023
Children and young people
NHS South East London

The South East London (SEL) Community Multi-System Violence Reduction (Vanguard) Programme officially went live in October 2022, and had its first formal review in March this year.

The programme aims to provide meaningful support for children, young people and families who have complex and unmet needs, and who are at risk of – or are affected by – violence. It does this by:

  • Targeting a range of risk factors associated with serious youth violence
  • Drawing on evidence-based approaches
  • Working closely with individuals referred into the programme to provide care that is relevant to them, and tailored to their needs
  • Giving advice, consultation, and training to our partner agencies in south east London
  • Increasing ‘trauma-informed practice’ within communities, service providers, and teams. This is care that recognises and understands the impact trauma has on an individual
  • Actively addressing existing inequalities in access to traditional mental health support
  • Making sure that people with lived experience can be part of the design and delivery of the programme, and that we recognise the values and cultures of our population.

Currently, 93 young people across SEL have been supported by the programme across the different partner agencies since the programme launched.

The programme brings together partners from across the SEL Integrated Care System, including specialist teams from NHS child and adolescent mental health services, the local authorities in our six boroughs, and delivery partners from the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector. These include Juvenis in Lambeth, Youth Ink and Active Communities Network in Southwark, Charlton Athletics Community Trust in Bexley and Greenwich, and Palace for Life Foundation in Bromley.

In March, the programme had its first annual review. The programme team from NHS England praised the enthusiasm and effort that has been invested in supporting local vulnerable young people and their families, as well as the culture of open communication which has made it possible to have some honest conversations about where we can improve.

The Clinical Hub Team – hosted by South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust – have been working across our six boroughs. They support the learning and development of individuals working with young people, including providing clinical advice and guidance, to make sure our young people receive the best service and support. They have also been exploring some innovative ways of tackling mental health stigma and engaging with young people who would not ordinarily come into contact with mainstream services. For example, they joined a group of young people for a podcast in Southwark and explored potential projects in local schools and youth centres.

The programme training team have rolled out training for our partner agencies, and are continually working with our partners to ensure that training is accessible, culturally appropriate, and includes the voices of people with lived experience.

For more information on your local programme, and guidance on how to access the service, please email:

Logos of all the partners of the SEL Vanguard programme