Scottish Violence Reduction Unit


Day of Hope 2021

A workshop for young people to share their experience of housing, employment and the environment has been held in Glasgow.

The event was the latest in a series of youth-led “Hackathons of Hope” which have taken place across the UK over the past few months.  

Around 80 young people aged 16 to 24 gathered to explore solutions to various social challenges and show how they can create positive change.  

The initiative is part of The Hope Collective, a partnership of various organisations coming together in support of the Damilola Taylor Trust’s 20th anniversary legacy campaign to shine a light on the positive contributions of young people.  

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon backed the event, writing in a letter: “Hearing the voices of our young people directly and gaining their input as to how best we can collectively tackle some of our most pressing issues is invaluable and the opportunity to bring them together with leaders and decision makers is essential to finding solutions to the challenges being faced.  

“The chosen topic of the Glasgow Hackathon of social housing and the environment is incredibly important and relevant as part of our focus on violence prevention. 

“How safe we feel at home and within our communities impacts on our daily lives and our potential to thrive.” 

The Glasgow event, hosted by Tigers Group, UK Youth, Youth Link Scotland and the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit (SVRU), is the fifth to take place.  

Previous events in London, Belfast, Cardiff and Manchester have all focused on young people tackling issues impacting them and their local communities with backing from OnSide, the Rio Ferdinand Foundation, 2020 Change, NCS and the Co-op.

A ‘Day of Hope’ has also been declared on December 7 to mark Damilola’s birthday and will involve a day of youth-led social action. 

SVRU director Niven Rennie said: “It was an honour for the SVRU to be asked to chair the Glasgow Hope Hack. Now more than ever we know how important it is to listen to the voices of young people about the issues affecting their future. I’ve travelled to Hope Hacks around the country and what has inspired me is the energy, enthusiasm and innovation young people show. It gives me real hope that no matter how tough the challenge we can overcome it by working together.”

Niven Rennie


Telephone: 01786 896785          Email:

Niven has more than 30 years of operational policing experience in the United Kingdom. He joined Strathclyde Police in 1985 serving throughout the west of Scotland in a variety of ranks and positions before progressing to the rank of Chief Superintendent. Niven previously held the role of President of the Association of Scottish Police Superintendents where he represented the interests of the operational leaders of policing in Scotland.

On leaving Police Scotland in 2016 Niven took up the position of Chief Executive Officer of South Ayrshire Escape from Homelessness (SeAscape).

Niven was appointed director of the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit in July 2018.