Cultural Responses to Trauma and Serious Youth Violence Using the Therapeutic Intervention for Peace Approach – Power the Fight (July 2021)


Access to the full report from Power The Fight in regards to the cultural responses to trauma and serious youth violence using therapeutic intervention for peace approach.


  • To provide appropriate and culturally sensitive support to improve children- mental health and reduce their vulnerability to involvement in serious youth violence.


The project aimed to build resilience, by delivering culturally sensitive interventions in groups and on a one to one basis to children, parents/carers and teaching staff, to support them to address the negative impact that serious youth violence has had on the lives of children and their communities, thereby leading to safer communities and reducing the number of victims. The project was delivered across two mainstream schools and one alternative provision in the London Borough of Lewisham.

Through a range of digital and face-to-face activities over 10 weeks, Power The Fight delivered culturally competent, co-designed therapeutic sessions to 26 children across 3 schools in Lewisham.

The pandemic and school closures meant that delivery was tailored to each school. In addition, Power The Fight delivered;

  • 1:1 Art Therapy sessions to 5 children
  • Training to 214 school staff (including 53 senior leaders, 1:1 reflective supervision sessions were delivered to 12 staff)
  • Virtual peer to peer facilitated parent/ carer workshops delivered to 11 parent/ guardians
  • A short film has been produced summarising the project

Findings included;

  • children are experiencing a broad range of social and educational anxieties, along with physical threats to safety and material instabilities
  • the most effective therapeutic connections were made face-to-face in small groups when practitioners demonstrated high cultural competency and children were given extended space and time to talk
  • COVID-19 has heightened stress and anxiety about future plans, and has increased isolation and anxiety through distance learning and communicating through digital and social media
  • Cultural competency training is greatly and urgently needed for all teachers and school staff
  • Teachers and staff would benefit from extended and regular meetings rather than one off events
  • Parents and families find relief and comfort when able to share with peers; realising they are not alone, and others are experiencing and feelings the same challenges and concerns
  • The return to school after a second Covid-19 lockdown presents, particular and significant wellbeing and mental health risk for children

Culturally competent education requires awareness of the specific communities and cultures that are represented within each unique student body. One of the recommendations from this project was that schools can achieve this through establishing co-developed family forums, where staff can connect with parents and carers in discussions beyond academic issues and begin to embed the school within its wider community.

Funding has been secured by all 3 schools following this project, which will allow Power The Fight to continue to support and build on the positive impact this project has had on children, teaching staff and parents.

Scoping in Newham Local Authority has led to Power the Fight delivering specific tailored interventions to address trauma that Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic children and their families have experienced as a result of the impact of COVID-19.

Please see attached here the final report.


Partner organisation: Power The Fight
Name:Lisa Harrison