Mayor provides training to equip youngsters with skills to get jobs

19 January 2012

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson today unveiled a new programme to boost the job prospects of thousands of young Londoners and steer them away from involvement in crime.

In plans outlined by the Mayor today, thousands of youngsters will have the opportunity to join uniformed groups like the Guides, Scouts and Cadets. The £1.3 million programme, being run by the Safer London Foundation, will help young people develop vital skills and instil discipline and responsibility in young people, particularly those who are or at risk of being excluded from education, training or employment.

Thirty-eight new uniformed groups will be opened over three years, two-thirds of which will be in boroughs with areas of high deprivation. Already 100 new adult volunteers and 1,000 youngsters have been recruited. By the end of 2014 this will increase to 1,000 volunteers, which will enable 8,000 young people currently on the waiting lists across the capital to join uniformed groups.

The initiative is part of Team London, the Mayor’s strategy to harness volunteers to deliver key projects to improve the quality of life and opportunities of Londoners.

Speaking at the Merton Sea Cadets Centre for the launch, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson said:

‘Uniformed groups are a fantastic way for youngsters to get involved in a myriad of activities, which will help equip them with the skills they need to succeed in life. It’s a modern tragedy that so many of our young people are struggling to get a foothold in the jobs market and are drifting into crime. By instilling self reliance, discipline and a sense of competition, young people can aspire to a better future.’

Rena Sodhi, Chief Executive of Safer London Foundation said: ‘Our projects are all about supporting young people and giving them the opportunity to approach their lives differently. We are proud to be leading on a flagship Team London project and working with the uniformed groups and our Youth Advisory Board to encourage young people from some of London’s most deprived boroughs to access activities they would not normally have the chance to try. Adult volunteers are vital to the success of YOU matter, as they mean new groups can be established and it is evident that Londoners are rising to this challenge.’

19 year old Police Cadet Karolina Falkiewicz, who is applying to become a Met Police Special said:

‘I found it incredibly difficult fitting in, when I first came to London six years ago and got in with the wrong crowd. Joining the Police Cadets, helped me to feel a part of a community and more confident. I would say to any young person, come on and give it a go!’

The Mayor has awarded the Safer London Foundation £1.3 million funding for the YOU Matter programme. The foundation will work in partnership with the You London uniformed groups- Volunteer Police Cadets, St John’s Ambulance, Army Cadets, Air Cadets, Sea Cadets, Guides, Scouts, Boys’ Brigade and Girls’ Brigade.

A recent YouGov survey for the Scouts found that many youngsters are lacking in practical skills- around half couldn’t cook a meal, four out of five couldn’t tie a knot and only 11 per cent could read a map.

View gallery of the launch



Notes to Editors

  • Team London is the Mayor’s ambitious programme to mobilise an army of volunteers across the capital to improve life in London through programmes that will reduce crime, increase opportunities for youth and improve quality of life by cleaning and greening London and building stronger neighbourhoods. Since 2008, the Mayor's programmes have galvanised tens of thousands of Londoners into action and Team London is now seeking to encourage an additional 10,000 volunteers by May 2012. Please visit for more information, to find and post volunteering opportunities, and to nominate your volunteering heroes for a certificate of recognition from the Mayor
  • The Team London YOU Matter is part of Project Titan, one of the six strands of the Mayor’s Time for Action plan published in November 2008. Titan looks to tackle serious youth crime, by equipping young people for the future in order to prevent and reduce the propensity to get involved in crime.
  • The Team London YOU Matter programme for the uniform groups will enable at least 8000 young people to join uniform groups in London, by providing dedicated recruiters to attract adult volunteers and establish new units.
  • Boroughs with areas of high deprivation are Barking & Dagenham, Brent, Croydon, Hackney, Haringey, Islington, Lambeth, Lewisham, Newham, Southwark, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest.
  • The main barrier to young people joining uniformed groups is the lack of adult volunteers for more information on how to sign up as a volunteer or for young people to join a uniformed group go to
  • The Safer London Foundation is the Met Police's official charity and was established in 2005. Its vision is for London to be a safer city and for everyone living and working in the capital to feel safe and be safe. It develops and delivers projects, campaigns and activities that engage with young Londoners and inspires those involved in crime or at risk of violence and crime to feel empowered, recognise they have choices and so can build productive lives free from criminal behaviour. It supports the delivery of the Met Police's key aims of preventing and reducing crime, particularly serious youth violence and violence against young women and girls and works across London as well as in priority boroughs and wards.


The charity also works in partnership with the Greater London Authority, national Government, local authorities, voluntary sector groups, London Probation Trust, Youth Offending Teams, schools and a wide variety of community groups. For more information visit


  • The Scouts YouGov survey - Total sample size of the adults survey was 2020 adults of which 317 were parents of children aged under 14. Fieldwork was undertaken between 19th - 22nd August 2011. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+). Total sample size of the children’s survey was 508 children aged 8 to 15. Fieldwork was undertaken between 19th - 22nd August 2011. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB children (aged 8 to 15).