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On 15 March 2022, our Hospital Navigator Scheme was recognised for the important work it is doing to help young people aged 13-35 affected by serious violence in Milton Keynes.

National Crimebeat is a youth crime prevention charity of the High Sheriffs’ Association in England and Wales. An awards ceremony takes place in London in March each year to recognise innovative and effective crime prevention projects led by young people.

We were delighted to find out that our Hospital Navigator Scheme was awarded first prize out of all counties nominated. In addition, the scheme was awarded the High Sheriffs’ Association Special Award, which is chosen from all adult-led and youth-led projects. George Anson, the High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire, supported all stages of YMCA MK’s application and wrote a letter of recommendation for the Hospital Navigator Scheme.

Through the Hospital Navigator scheme, a group of volunteers support young people who present in A&E at Milton Keynes Hospital as a result of serious violence. Led by a Hospital Navigator, the volunteers work with young people to provide signposting to mentoring and support within the community, including services provided by YMCA MK.

Speaking after the event, our Hospital Navigator Tayler Tookey said, “Our brilliant team of volunteers have worked really hard over the past year to provide vital support to young people experiencing gang activity, serious violence or domestic abuse. We know that when people are in hospital, there is a reachable moment when intervention can be successful. It’s incredibly rewarding to see the impact this scheme has had on the young lives of those we have supported.”

The Hospital Navigator Scheme launched in June 2021. Funded by the Thames Valley Violence Reduction Unit, the Hospital Navigator Volunteers operate from within the A&E department at Milton Keynes Hospital.

YMCA MK would like to say a huge well done and thank you to our fantastic volunteers who have enabled this scheme to come to fruition.