YOUTH workers are being embedded at Bolton's Accident and Emergency department to help engage with people who have been affected by violence.

It is part of a project launched in May across Greater Manchester, named GM Navigator.

The Royal Bolton Hospital is one of four hospitals taking part in the scheme, which sees the youth workers alongside dedicated clinical leads supporting vulnerable young people aged 10 to 25 who are admitted to A&E because of violence.

They will work with the young person for up to six weeks, helping them to access local support networks and prevent further violence.

The project has been commissioned by the Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) and is being delivered by the national charity, Oasis.

Salford Royal Hospital, Manchester Royal Infirmary and Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital are also involved in the 12-month pilot and researchers at Manchester Metropolitan University will evaluate the service.

Hannah Barton, Manager of the Navigator Team said: “We have found that if an NHS doctor refers a young victim of violence to a youth worker while still in A&E, a strong bond can be formed.

“Our youth workers then take a holistic approach, working with the whole family to offer practical help around schooling, relationships, careers, housing, finances and mental health. It’s vital to build up a network of local support.”

Bev Hughes, Greater Manchester’s Deputy Mayor for Policing Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire, said: “Violent crime causes serious harm to those involved, victims and their families. The launch of the GM Navigator project is another example of how we are committed to reducing crimes of this nature across the city-region.

“The Violence Reduction Unit takes a community-led, place-based and public health approach to address the root causes of violent crime. By forming partnerships and working with families and communities in this way we can tackle how and why young people become involved in violence. The GM Navigator project has the potential to help change the lives of young people through this early support.”