ADD416 Peer Outreach Team programme 2016/17

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Date signed: 
25 April 2016
Decision by: 
Amanda Coyle, Assistant Director, Health and Communities

Executive summary

This decision seeks approval for Peer Outreach activity for 2016-17 to support the GLA’s youth led engagement work aimed at increasing the participation of young Londoners in positive activities and employment and enterprise opportunities.
Given the timing in the election cycle, only necessary commitments will be contractually entered into until   the new Mayor has had the time to review the GLA budget.


That the Assistant Director of Health and Communities approves:

1.    Receipt of income of up to £10,000 from organisations benefiting from peer outreach activity. 
2.    Expenditure of up to £50,000, which consists of the income received plus up to £40,000 of GLA funds for the Peer Outreach activity for 2016-17 to support the GLA’s youth engagement work.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    The GLA’s Peer Outreach Team (young people aged 15 to 24 years) and the Lynk up Crew (Mayoral young advisors aged 7-14 years) deliver a range of projects and activities in partnership with GLA policy teams and functional bodies (including health, culture, LFEPA, and the MPS). The aim is to ensure policy and programme activity is better aligned with the concerns and perspectives of children and young people whilst providing personal skills development opportunities for the young people involved.

1.2    The Peer Outreach Team and the Lynk Up Crew were set up in 2006.  They work on ten to fifteen projects at a time engaging approximately 3,000 young people each year.

1.3    The Peer Outreach Team is continuing to develop its sustainability strategy and has put in place a process by which it charges organisations for Peer Outreach Worker’s time.  This decision includes approval for the receipt of approximately £10,000 of income generated through this approach. 

1.4     This income will be generated by charging the organisations who have agreed to pay for the Peer Outreach Workers time in supporting the projects. Peer Outreach Workers will complete timesheets to record the hours that they work on each project which then will be charged at the Peer Outreach Worker’s hourly rate (at London Living  Wage) multiplied by the number of hours spent on the project.  


Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    The Peer Outreach Team programme provides twofold benefits. One is to offer young people who are not in education, employment or training valuable work experience and training here at City Hall, especially for those who are not ready for a full apprenticeship. The other is to deliver a range of youth led projects and provide models of good practice in delivery and outcomes. 

2.2    Following a period of induction and voluntary activity (of between 4 and 6 weeks), the young people involved are paid an hourly rate (at the London Living Wage) on a sessional basis for their work. The work has won a number of awards and received very positive feedback over the years.

Peer Outreach Team and Lynk Up Crew membership

2.3    An average of thirty young people participate in the Peer Outreach Team at any one time, with a further 20 young people being part of the Lynk Up Crew. 

2.4    The Peer Outreach Team operates on a roll on/roll off basis with approximately 12 young people moving on from the team each year and being replaced by new members.  The majority of Peer Outreach Team leavers move into education or employment. 

2.5    Around ten young people leave the Lynk Up Crew each July, with a new intake of ten more young people in September. 

2.6    The GLA report on the number of young people who sustain their education or employment for six months after leaving the Peer Outreach Team or participate in the Lynk Up Crew for more than six months within the GLA’s key performance indicators.

Peer Outreach Team Projects

2.7    The Peer Outreach Team works on a range of projects and activities in partnership with GLA policy teams and functional bodies and other organisations.  Planned activity includes:

•    Organising quarterly network meetings of the Young Londoners Participation Network, hosted at City Hall and attended by an average of forty participants who work with children and young people.  2016/17 provisional network themes include: politics, power and participation – how young people can shape services and engage in political dialogue, working in partnership – making the most of limited resources, and how to address serious youth violence.
•    Supporting, advising and guiding internal and external organisations in their successful engagement with children and young people.

•    Managing the Lynk Up Crew and facilitating its monthly meetings.  Please see examples of planned Lynk Up Crew activities:

o    Road-testing the KS2 London Curriculum units and providing constructive feedback to inform their development.
o    Working with the Safer London Foundation and Spirit of London to discuss policing and crime including serous youth violence.
o    Continuing to support the Peer Outreach Team’s work with the Open University by providing their views on energy consumption and use of natural resources.
o    With input from CAHMs (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) discussing young people’s health and well-being.

•    Working with the Youth Justice Board to develop the Youth Offending Service Hub.
•    Continuing to undertake youth consultation for the Haringey Youth Offenders Team to obtain feedback from Young Offenders on the service, and identifying social action projects for young offenders to engage with.
•    Contributing to the Youth Offending Service’s Pan-London Reparation and Surrey Youth Support Network, offering advice and guidance on youth engagement.
•    Taking part in the 2016 Spirit of London Awards and assessing award applications (set up by the Damilola Taylor Trust the awards known as "The Community Oscars for Young People" celebrate the achievements of young Londoners and highlight the work these role models do in their local communities)
•    Supporting  On side in the setting up of youth zones across London by taking part in their Youth Board and connecting them to young people.

•    Increasing awareness of the links between alcohol and youth crime through training from Alcohol Concern; Peer Outreach Workers will undertake primary research with young people.
•    Attending the Healthy Schools Board and assessing Healthy School gold standard applications
•    Working with the GLA Health Team to provide feedback on their strategic vision.

•    Organising ‘Who Are Ya’ on St George’s Day, a ‘festival of ideas’ run by young people for young people.  The event at City Hall will focus on young people’s identity as Londoners and their insight on the key issues that young people face. 
•    Supporting cultural events and young performers, social enterprises and Arts Awards programmes.

Supporting vulnerable groups
•    Establishment of the bi-monthly Care Consortium of organisations that work with young people in care and care leavers.  This is a sub-group of the Young Londoners Participation Network.  
•    Working with the GLA’s diversity and social policy team to deliver a series of Young Parent focus groups.
•    Mentoring young people on Redbridge College Pupil Referral Unit’s media course and organising an end of year event to showcase successes of the project.
•    Organising a series of events during the annual leaving care week with Queen Mary’s College.
•    Working with the Whizzkidz disabled children’s charity to improve their youth engagement.
•    Together with the GLA’s Diversity and Social Policy Team, organising focus groups of LGBT young people.

•    Consulting on and supporting the development of the London Curriculum ‘Citizenship/PHSE unit.
•    Undertaking further work with the Open University (OU) as part of their ‘Stories of Change: Exploring energy and community in the past, present and future’ project which aims to re-energise the debate around energy.  The Peer Outreach Team will re-interview the specialists in the field of energy that they interviewed in 2015. Interviews will appear on the Open University’s Open Learn Website.
•    Disseminating information on ‘London Ambitions’ and career education opportunities through the YLPN and other relevant networks 
•    Supporting group mentoring sessions with young entrepreneurs and business people.  
•    Facilitating focus groups to engage young people in European Social Fund programme delivery which aims to support NEETs into education and employment                                                                                                                                                                                                          
•    Facilitating the GLA’s Annual Education Conference.


Equality comments

3.1    The make-up of the Lynk Up Crew and the Peer Outreach Team reflects London’s diverse population. It includes young people with differing characteristics and backgrounds, including care leavers, teenage parents and young people living in temporary accommodation.  

3.2    Opportunities to join the Lynk Up Crew and the Peer Outreach Team are advertised through and via intermediaries who work with young people, such as members of the Young Londoners Participation Network.

3.3    We monitor the characteristics and background of Team members and check that there is also an equality of outcomes.

3.4    Peer Outreach Workers work on a wide range of targeted projects, many focused on supporting vulnerable groups.

Other considerations

a)    Key risks and issues 
The table below outlines the main risks associated with the Peer Outreach activity and youth engagement. 





Peer Outreach workers do not attend/ complete work to an adequate standard



Organisation of the Peer Outreach workers into teams lead by their peers has been seen to increase attendance and improve the quality of their work.  All projects are overseen by the GLA project officer.  Monthly reviews of progress at Peer Outreach Team meetings.

Lynk Up Crew do not attend



Provide interesting and fun activities, and ensuring that attendees can influence the content of sessions and the way the Lynk Up Crew is run.

Insufficient demand for Peer Outreach support 



Promotion of the team’s work across the GLA and through the Young Londoners Participation network, proactively responding to Write-On enquiries from organisations  that would benefit from peer outreach support.

Less income is generated than forecast



Monthly budget updates with accurate income forecasting, and ensuring that planned POW sessional hours do not exceed available funding.


















b)    Links to strategies and Mayoral and corporate priorities

The Education and Youth Team published their updated Delivery Plan in April 2015, showing progress against the outcomes of the Mayor of London’s Response to the Education Inquiry Panel’s Final Report. The work of the Peer Outreach Team is included within the priority to ‘Foster engagement and build resilience among London’s young people’.  

The Team’s work also directly supports specific Mayoral and corporate priorities such as that for healthy schools, supporting care leavers, and to reduce youth crime.

The Mayor’s renewed agenda for children and young people (‘Young Londoners – Successful Futures’, 2010) set out the mayor’s wider strategy in this area. This states that ‘the key aspects of the GLA’s children and young people’s work for the Mayor are to give all young Londoners a voice; gain a better understanding of what it is like growing up in London; and know the priority issues for children and young people themselves’.  The work of the Peer Outreach Team and the Lynk Up Crew is provided as an example of a means of achieving this. 

c)    Impact assessments and consultations.
A review of the Peer Outreach Team was conducted in 2014/15. Twenty of the thirty team members participated in a focus group and five projects that were supported by the Peer Outreach workers returned feedback questionnaires. The Peer Outreach Team was involved in the design, delivery and data gathering exercises associated with this review. They learnt how to deliver and participate in Focus Groups where a thematic analysis was undertaken of the transcript data which they led on, they designed and administered questionnaires and wrote written case studies. 

During the focus group the Peer Outreach Workers (POWs) consistently commented that they have developed a significant number of skills as a direct result of their participation on the team. These are: 

  • Organisation
  • Communication
  • Team working
  • Leadership
  • Networking
  • Self Awareness
  • Professionalism
  • Public speaking
  • Project management

Feedback from projects was also very positive. The review reported that the impact the POWs had on the young people within the projects they worked on, as well as the impact they had on the development on policy was notable. There was a genuine understanding of the value the POWs brought to the work that could not be fulfilled by adult professionals. ‘Unfailing enthusiasm, passion and knowledge’ was expressed by one respondent. Another organisation commented ‘the Peer Outreach Team is a hugely valuable asset for the GLA  to connect with young Londoners on crucial issues and encourage their input on making London a better place’.

Financial comments

5.1    Approval is being sought for the GLA to contribute up to £50,000 (gross) for the Peer Outreach activity for a one year period in 2016-17 to support the GLA’s youth engagement work.

5.2    The GLA will receive income of approximately £10,000 from organisations benefiting from Peer outreach activity and £40,000 (net) of this project is to be funded from the Peer Outreach budget as approved in the GLA budget .

5.3    Any changes to this proposal, including budgetary implications will be subject to the Authority’s decision-making process. All appropriate budget adjustments will be made.

Planned delivery approach and next steps



Peer Outreach Team programme delivery

April 16 – March 17

New members of Lynk Up Crew start

September 2016