What is a ‘Place of Peace’?
A Place of Peace (or POP for short!) is an initiative of the Bishop of Coventry to engage faith communities to respond to youth violence in Coventry. It consists of an after-school safe space for young people aged 10-14. Although the venues are religious buildings, there will be no religious content to the youth provision.
Note that due to COVID-19, POP became POP Online in May 2020.
What’s on offer?
- Engaging activities and games
- A free evening meal (vegetarian) prepared by local community members
- Personal development and life skills workshops
- Opportunities to participate in social action in the local community
- Potential for mentoring from professional youth workers
Where and When?
Currently a pilot is running in Foleshill, as shown below. In the future there will be more, either in places of worship or community centres.
- 4.30pm – 6.30pm every Monday at Shri Guru Ravidass Temple, Foleshill
- 4.30pm – 6.30pm every Thursday at St. Paul’s Church Foleshill
The POP Model
POP recognises that places of worship/community spaces can have existing early evening commitments on certain days of the week. It is therefore hoped, that by working together, different Places of Peace (ideally two) in any one neighbourhood can provide a safe space for a young person to go to after every day of the school week. For example, one venue may host for three evenings a week, whilst another may host for the other two. Hence, the aim is to maximise the use of existing assets for the benefit of the wider community.
POPs will provide mentoring, games, a free evening meal provided by the local community,
- The primary aim and vision of POP is to provide safe spaces for young people.
- To open POPs in places of worship or community spaces in every neighbourhood of Coventry.
- To have POPs on every day of the week in all these neighbourhoods.
- Enable young people (especially 10-14) to socialise and develop in safety.
- To facilitate greater cross-community (e.g. inter-church, inter-faith etc.) cooperation and social cohesion as we seek to address a common need.
- To run workshops in future to help develop young people’s awareness of peace and reconciliation.
- To help young people build a strong, positive sense of local community identity and belonging that is open and hospitable to others.
- Train volunteers to be mentors.
- Faith inspired >> safe spaces in places of worship (and elsewhere). Faith communities working together.
- Youth led >> empowering young people to take ownership of and responsibility for the safe space and their local community.
- Partnerships >> close working relationships with statutory bodies, third sector, and community & faith groups.
- Accessible >> non-religious youth provision open to all faiths and none.
- Local >> every neighbourhood has its own Places of Peace, close to a young person’s home or school.
Pilot project (currently underway)
- On Thursday 6 February 2020, POP held its first session at St. Paul’s Church in Foleshill. From Monday 2 March, the Church will be joined by Shri Guru Ravidass Gurdwara, also in Foleshill. Thereafter, POP and will run every Monday and Thursday between 4:30-6:30pm.
- We are working with YMCA Coventry & Warwickshire who are providing youth workers to give young people access to activities, workshops, mentoring, an evening meal and opportunities for social action in their local community.
- Funding for the pilot has been secured through the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner’s Violence Reduction Unit, and we are working closely with the Police and the Council here in Coventry.
- The project is looking for further funding continue the work in Foleshill and expand to other parts of Coventry.
For membership enquiries, please contact: email@example.com, 024 7699 5204
For general enquiries about the POP project, please contact: Fred Kratt, Research Assistant to the Bishop of Coventry firstname.lastname@example.org
POP is a collaboration between the Diocese of Coventry and YMCA Coventry and Warwickshire (part of YMCA Heart of England). Although it has been set up by a religious organisation, POP has no religious content.