Sandwell Council’s iTrust Programme was declared the Best Community and Neighbourhood Initiative including Community Safety in the prestigious Association of Public Service Excellence (APSE) Annual Service Awards 2021.
The APSE Awards recognised frontline service teams and special initiatives delivered by UK local authorities and public sector partners. This year’s awards, with 22 categories covering the vast majority of local services, were agreed by a panel of expert judges, following a rigorous selection process.
The winners were announced at the APSE Annual Charity Awards Dinner, in aid of Parkinson’s UK, at the ICC in Birmingham.
iTrust (Supporting Families Against Youth Crime Programme) was developed by Sandwell Council, Sandwell Children’s Trust, Sandwell Council for Voluntary Organisations and West Midlands Police Sandwell Partnership Team to meet the principles of the national Troubled Families Programme, which included early identification of those children and families at greatest risk.
The programme was delivered by a small team within the council, who worked closely with partners in the police and the voluntary sector, schools and families to identify and support children in years six and seven in the Smethwick and West Bromwich areas, taking an approach based on very early intervention to increase confidence, build resilience and drive aspirations.
The programme engaged with 28 primary and secondary schools in the two towns, seeking to provide universal activities for 700 children and targeted one-to-one mentoring for 85 children. It significantly exceeded these goals, with over 1,500 children attending universal sessions and 241 receiving individual mentoring support.