Charities Redthread and Catch22 have launched a pilot project to help tackle online harm, funded by Google.org.
The Social Switch Project started last week, and will run until August next year with three strands. The first will deliver free training to 500 frontline professionals across London on addressing the challenges of social media and harmful online behaviour, and preventing the violence which can escalate. The training also covers how professionals can encourage positive and creative social media use. Participants of the programme will include teachers, youth workers, social workers, and police staff.
The project will also train young Londoners to help them launch digital careers, and provide grants for grassroots ideas across London engaging young people and working to steer them away from violence.
As well as Catch22, Redthread, and Google.org, the project has an advisory board including representatives from across the sector, police, and academics, from Facebook, YouTube, MOPAC, and the Metropolitan Police, to The Children’s Society, MAC-UK and the Young Londoner’s Fund.
By August 2020, The Social Switch Project aims to have trained 500 front-line professionals to be able to openly discuss the challenges and opportunities young people face online. It also aims to have trained 30 young Londoners in social media management and to have completed work experience with leading organisations across London, and to have distributed thousands of pounds to grassroots organisations leading the change in London.
Ben McOwen Wilson, Managing Director of YouTube UK, said:
“We all want to ensure that young people are safe, whether they’re out and about in London or exploring the online world. By working together we can help everyone make the most of what the internet has to offer.”
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