The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced he will invest £4m to increase the number of youth workers in hospitals across the capital.
The funding will go to teams of youth workers to be based in five A&E hospitals in areas with high levels of young victims of violent crime.
These areas are Newham General Hospital in Plaistow, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, Croydon University Hospital, University Hospital Lewisham and Whittington Hospital, covering Islington and Haringey.
The money will also provide an increase in the number of specialist youth workers already based in London’s four Major Trauma Centres: Kings, St George’s, St Marys and the Royal London hospitals.
Last year, more than 1,000 young people were identified as in need of specialist youth worker support in London’s Major Trauma Centres, due to potentially suffering violence or exploitation.
Youth workers were able to help 432 young people last year, aiding them in moving away from violence and assisting with education, relationships or housing.
Of these young people, 52 were under-18 and not previously known to support services.
Mr Khan commented: ‘It is a tragedy that our city is being robbed of young people with so much potential and it is vital we do all we can to help them move away from a life of violence.
‘Embedding youth workers in hospitals has already made a profound difference to the lives of some of the most vulnerable young Londoners, reaching them at a crucial junction in their lives and helping them choose a different path away from violence.
‘This is why I am investing record amounts to significantly expand this work and introduce specialist youth workers to more A&E departments.’