Next phase of Mayor's Young Londoners Fund announced

21 September 2018
  • Sadiq boosts 36 projects delivering programme of activities for young Londoners, including those most at risk of getting caught up in crime
  • Almost 10,000 at-risk young Londoners to benefit from latest phase of £45m Young Londoners Fund
  • London has lost 81 youth centres and 800 full time youth workers as a result of £39m of Government cuts to youth services since 2011* 


The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is today investing £2.6million in 36 projects across the capital, providing almost 10,000 young Londoners with positive life opportunities.


Sadiq launched the £45m Young Londoners Fund earlier this year to support community groups, charities, youth centres and schools providing much-needed positive events, activities and opportunities for young people in the capital.


The fund is part of a package of measures aimed at encouraging young people to get off the streets and to make the right choices and, for some, diverting them away from criminality and anti-social behaviour.


The Mayor will be investing in projects over the course of the coming months. Today’s announcement will benefit 9,950 young Londoners through 36 London schemes, including everything from theatre groups and employability training to football clubs and art sessions.


It follows an investment of £750,000 made in July to 15 schools to provide safe, positive summer activities and ongoing support for more than 2,000 of the most vulnerable young Londoners.


In contrast, central government continues to cut vital services. £39m has been lost from London’s youth services since 2011, meaning that local authorities have had their youth service budgets cut by an average of 44 per cent, resulting in the closure of 81 youth centres and the loss of at least 800 full-time youth workers in the capital*.


Young people, especially those from the 10 boroughs most affected by knife and violent crime, will spend time through these projects gaining invaluable skills that are designed to help them reach their full potential. Details of the projects will be searchable on an interactive map hosted on the City Hall website at The map, launched in August, features more than 400 activities – including a number funded by the Mayor - stretching the length and breadth of the capital and has been helping young Londoners and their families search for activities in their local area.


Today, the Mayor visited a Chance to Shine Street Cricket project running at Grafton Primary School in Islington. There he had a chance to see how the Young Londoners Fund will help Chance to Shine use cricket to help raise aspirations, promote social cohesion and create opportunities for young people in diverse communities.


The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Crippling government cuts, begun by George Osborne in 2010 and continued by Theresa May, to local authorities, youth services and policing have led to a rise in violent crime. Cuts really do have consequences.

“In response, I have established the Young Londoners Fund as a key part of my long-term approach to tackling knife and violent crime in the capital. By investing in projects, and young people, that are dedicated to giving young Londoners an opportunity to get involved in positive activities, we can work to help every child and teenager at risk off the streets, and away from the dangers of crime.


“The projects we’ve invested in are already making a difference to young people in London and this next phase of the £45m programme, backed up by £2.6m of City Hall investment, will help provide valuable life opportunities for almost 10,000 young Londoners.”


Laura Cordingley, Chief Executive at Chance to Shine, said “We’re delighted that the Mayor’s Young Londoners Fund will be supporting Chance to Shine Street for the next 12 months. This will ensure that we can provide positive, accessible and local opportunities for children and young adults to play cricket. Offering a safe space to play cricket, helping them to develop, make new friends and to feel more integrated within their communities.


“We believe that the power of cricket can help young people learn important skills like teamwork, communication and resilience that will benefit them throughout their lives.”


Other projects receiving City Hall funding is South Central Youth – who will deliver their You Are Not Alone project providing weekly sessions to 250 young women in schools across London raising awareness about the issues of gang violence and sexual violence – and Lewisham Youth Theatre, who are also working hard to support engagement and progression in young people with their outreach drama activities in community settings, helping more than 1,000 Lewisham locals with their additional £90,000 funding.


Victoria Shaskan, Executive Director at Lewisham Youth Theatre, said: “We’re so pleased to be partnering with Mayor Sadiq Khan and the GLA to help engage more Lewisham young people in activities that give them a voice and expand their horizons. Lewisham Youth Theatre (LYT) involve young people aged 8-24 in drama and theatre activities and performances as a tool to transform young lives. Over 70% of our participants face significant disadvantage, and have a range of needs. Every day, we see the difference that having a safe space where they can be themselves, make friends and have their voices heard makes – how it raises the confidence, ambitions and outlook of our participants. The Young Londoners Fund will help us to give more young people this opportunity – particularly those who are vulnerable or who wouldn’t have the confidence to join a group like ours on their own. We’re excited for more young people to have an experience like one recent participant who said, ‘I feel free, I feel happy, and I feel proud because I did a performance. The only thing I need to do now is be proud of myself.’


Ann Lucas, Chief Executive at South Central Youth, said: “South Central Youth is a Specialist Youth Provision delivering intensive mentoring, therapeutic support, detached youth work and self-development sessions.


“The young people who attend our programmes face considerable adversity and our intervention empowers them to embrace their qualities giving them the strength and tools to build their future.  One young person told us that “you all changed my life... you guys have opened so much doors for me and just changed my whole mindset about life and helped me find the real me.  The Young Londoners Fund will give us the opportunity to support more young people through the delivery of our Safe Space sessions in schools and bespoke support to young people at risk of exploitation and sexual violence.”


Other community groups receiving funds include a dedicated provision of domestic abuse services for young people in Bromley, Construkt, a practical introduction into careers in construction and engineering, as well as Khulisa, who provide specialist emotional and social skills training for young people at risk of exclusion.


The £45m Young Londoners Fund was created by Sadiq in March as a means to support education, sport and cultural activities for young people to help tackle knife crime and youth violence, which has been rising across the country since 2014. It particularly seeks to help young Londoners who might otherwise be at risk of getting caught up in crime by providing aspirational and positive activities to help them reach their true potential.



Notes to editors

* London’s Lost Youth Services report (Sian Berry, 2018):


 A full list of projects receiving small grants (up to £90k), as well as projects that have previously received funding from the Young Londoners Fund, is available at  

Young Londoners Fund Small Grants

All Change Arts Limited £89,237 to deliver Power-Up – arts, creative learning and skills development for young women in Islington
To engage young people at risk of exclusion or involvement in criminal activity in high quality photography, digital arts, lyrics, singing, and music production activities leading to the creation of new publicly shared work. Work with inspirational artists will be supplemented with training, advice and guidance, wellbeing activities and skills development.

Bromley & Croydon Women's Aid £88,258 to deliver #RelationshipGoals
To develop a project to raise awareness of healthy relationships in secondary schools and youth settings, by providing talks and group work with the aim of tackling gendered attitudes and behaviours that lead to criminal activity. 

Catalyst In Communities £50,000 to deliver RE:SOLVE - EastSide Stories…
To engage young people at risk of exclusion/offending in creative workshops and personal 1:1 coaching; enabling participants to explore their life stories, attitude, beliefs and skills to be able to deal with life and resolve personal challenges/conflicts in a safe and positive manner using informal education, drama, music and creative writing.

Free to Be Kids £72,000 to deliver Thrive Outside Programme To provide therapeutically-structured/nature-based residential programmes, mentoring and a Young Leader’s programme to support vulnerable children to change their stories about who they are and who they can be, leading to children feeling and doing better, at school, home, and in wider lives.

Hillingdon Carers £30,000 to deliver Family Support Project activities fund To provide support to young carers providing care where there is parental substance misuse or mental ill health. The project provides intensive, short-term whole-family interventions to prevent these young people from developing their own mental health issues and potentially entering into antisocial and criminal behaviours.

Irene Taylor Trust £54,000 to deliver Making Tracks: Youth Offending Team projects
To give young people in contact with Youth Offending Teams the opportunity to be inspired through working with professional musicians to gain confidence, life skills and earn Arts Award accreditation. Bespoke one-to-one support will support the young people to progress on to future opportunities including other creative opportunities, education, volunteering and employment.

Khulisa £75,000 to deliver Face It: Social and Emotional skills training for young people at risk of exclusion
To provide specialist emotional and social skills training for young people who are at risk of being excluded from school and are at risk of becoming involved in youth violence and crime. Providing targeted and long-term support to help children develop the social and emotional skills, the emotional resilience and self-confidence they need to make more positive choices in their lives.

Kiln Theatre Limited £75,000 to deliver Minding the Gap: giving a voice to young people newly arrived in the UK
To support young people at risk of social exclusion to develop creative pathways, build aspirations and integrate into life in the UK. Minding the Gap, gives a voice to young people newly arrived in the UK by using drama to develop participants’ spoken and written English as well as self-confidence, teamwork skills and empathy. It helps them to become confident, empowered Londoners who contribute towards more cohesive communities.

Knights Youth Centre £97,753 to deliver GEAC - (Girls Empowered Against Crime)
To prevent young women at severe risk of becoming involved in crime, gangs and violence, entering the Criminal Justice System. KYC has created a multi-faceted Intervention Service, collaborating with partners and providing activities and support services that cater to the specific needs of young woman who are vulnerable.

Lewisham Youth Theatre £90,000 to deliver Lewisham Youth Theatre (LYT) - Targeted Outreach & Support Project
To provide vulnerable young people with the opportunity to engage in drama activities in community settings including individualised mentoring to support engagement and progression. Teaming targeted recruitment with one-to-one support for disadvantaged young people.

OYA Organisation of Young Africans £89,761 to deliver Transitions and Transformations
To support disadvantaged at risk young people of African-Caribbean heritage during the transition phases in Year 6 and post-16. Developing self-confidence, positive relationships with peers and elders, improving academic performance and providing a positive future-orientation. Participants will be matched with mentors who will give tailored support.

Pleasance Theatre Trust Ltd £47,877 to deliver The Market Project
To engage 30 young people in creative mentoring and session work. Training them in transferable theatre-related skills to improve engagement, well-being, relationships and behaviour. During and post-programme volunteer and employment opportunities will be available to participants.

Protection Approaches £57,588 to deliver Our Newham
To work with a cohort of young people in Newham at risk of exclusion and/or involvement in criminal activity to develop youth-led approaches to divisions they identify within their local community.  ‘Our Newham’ will provide aspirational and positive activities for the cohort and seek to fill the gap in local-decision making, from council, police and local civil society, where young people are too commonly absent.

Ruils £76,597 to deliver Family Matters Hounslow
To enable and empower families to help their children reach their potential by providing a time-limited, intensive family intervention. Involving workshops for parents focused on critical issues e.g. sleep/anxiety/challenging behaviour and 121 advice sessions to help parents with issues, signpost them to services and support them to make immediate changes.

Savvy Theatre Company Ltd £75,000 to deliver Step-Up Theatre Production and Performance Skill Development Programme for students with SEMH needs
To provide young people with social, emotional and mental health needs with the opportunity to take part in a range of theatre skills using the Arts Award framework. In collaboration with Wandle Valley School young people will develop experience in set design, script writing, devising, acting, stage management, stage combat, physical theatre and front of house operations for employability.

Serious About Youth (SAY) £66,000 to deliver Construkt
To engage young people in South London, particularly from disadvantaged backgrounds and Croydon, to introduce them to the range of fantastic career pathways in the construction/engineering sector to highlight that there are positive pathways that they can pursue and to give them access to businesses, professionals and opportunities.

SocietyLinks £90,000 to deliver Tunes against Knives
To engage young people at risk of involvement in knife crime in a programme of preventative music and educational activities. Including works shops in music studios, production of music videos to highlight the dangers of knives, educational workshops and engagement with local families.

South Central Youth Ltd £60,000 to deliver You Are Not Alone (YANA)
To deliver weekly SAFE SPACE sessions in schools across London, to raise awareness about the issue of violence and sexual violence. Educating young people around types of behaviours that constitute criminal behaviour and provide bespoke support to 25 young people experiencing or at risk of child exploitation and sexual violence.

SPLASH (South Poplar & Limehouse Action for Housing) £87,972 to deliver SPLASH Youth Engagement Project
To engage hard to reach young people with daily drop in sessions, appointment-based sessions, training and workshops for developmental needs. Participants will be able to access sessions 5 days a week, one of the sessions will run from 9pm - 12am on Friday nights.

St Paul's Cathedral £88,917 to deliver Hackney Choral
To give excluded young people a voice through the discipline of choral music. This collaboration between St Paul’s Cathedral, St Paul’s West Hackney, local schools and families and other partners, will provide young people facing exclusion with meaningful skills, confidence and aspiration - giving them the opportunity to make positive life choices, to utilise the benefits of living in London and to reach their full potential.

The Arts Depot Trust Ltd £75,000 to deliver MINE - building family bonds, positive transitions from virtual worlds to real life
To deliver an arts engagement & access programme targeting the most disadvantaged communities in Barnet through a referral network. The programme aims to use Minecraft digital gaming and a live gaming show to explore mother/son relationships & how young people become leaders in Minecraft.

The Ben Kinsella Trust £49,809 to deliver The Best You
To run a highly interactive and motivational project involving workshops and a visit to the Ben Kinsella exhibition. Participants will develop a strong sense of self, transform aggressive behaviour, break through destructive cycles and become proactive to discover their passions and career goals.

The Twist Partnership Limited £82,000 to deliver Make it Happen
To inspire young people to design and develop enterprise projects that draw on their personal ambitions and experience.  Working with Twist facilitators, who lead by example, and foster the young people’s desire to be valued and recognised as a success and a network of effective professionals and business leaders with the power to turn their projects into reality.

Whizz-Kidz (the Movement for Non-Mobile Children) £58,069 to deliver Leading the Way
To provide disabled young people at risk of feeling isolated from their community facilities, such as organised sports and clubs, the chance to take action to address the gaps in provision. Throughout the project they will lead the way for 10 London youth services towards a shared goal of making their services accessible and inclusive.

Word On The Curb £34,500 to deliver Upskilling ‘at risk’ Young People aged 16-21 on Content Film Production & Creation for Online Publication & Employment Opportunities.
To upskill a cohort ‘at risk of crime’ (largely BAME young people) to be industry ready for a career in Content Film Production. The process in the ‘Curb Collective’ consists of; Learn-Create-Publish-Proliferate, creating skilled and credited Producers who will be supported to find gainful employment in the media industry.

Sport Unites Small Grants

ARCA generation £30,000 to deliver ARCA active

To support young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and those who are at risk or involved in gangs, through the provision of recreational and educational activities, the support of qualified professionals and a relationship with the local police.

Ebony Horse Club £81,187 to deliver Lambeth Riding Stars
To provide weekly horse riding sessions, horse care lessons and youth worker support to develop key life skills, personal development and progress into further education and work, for young people who would not normally have access to the sport.

Get Hooked on Fishing £86,875 to deliver Flying Fish (anything is possible!): supporting disadvantaged young Londoners to reach their potential
To engage 11-15-year olds at risk or already excluded from school and at risk of becoming involved in crime, with angling as a positive and preventative activity. To raise participants aspirations, develop confidence and self-esteem, decrease anti-social behaviour and help them to engage positively with the local community through volunteering.

Islington Somali Community £62,075 to deliver ISC Links
To engage young Somalis at risk of anti-social activity and isolation in weekly sports activities to improve fitness, team work and leadership skills. The project will include a Job Club with mentoring support from other young people to encourage progress into training and employment.

School of Hard Knocks £87,840 to deliver SOHK for Schools – Changing Lives, Creating Futures
To provide rugby lessons and personal mentoring to cohorts of 25 pupils at risk of exclusion or low educational attainment. Improving educational attainment through improved behaviour, punctuality and attendance. Full-contact rugby teaches discipline, confidence and emotional regulation. Mentoring will include group sessions following the SOHK curriculum and one-to-one sessions.

SkyWay Charity £90,000 to deliver Community Sports Coaches
To improve the life chances of young people aged 15+ identified as being ‘at risk’ of becoming involved in anti-social behaviour or crime. Participants will receive training and qualifications in multi-sports and facilitation so that they can become independent Community Sports Coaches who arrange and deliver sports activities in the local community.

Southside Young Leaders' Academy £88,565 to deliver Active Lives! (Making a difference thru' sports)
To expand existing Leadership Academy work by delivering physical & sports activities over three years for 80 vulnerable BAME boys to improve physical and mental wellbeing, strengthen character, encourage positive use of leisure time and break social isolation.

Sports Unites Impact Partnerships

Chance to Shine £100,000 for Street Cricket - a cricket programme used to raise aspiration, promote social cohesion and create opportunities in diverse and disadvantaged communities. Each session within the project runs year-round with weekly sessions, holiday competitions for Youths (8-15 years) with additional leagues for Young Adults (16-24 years). The model is specifically designed to reach urban communities suffering from high socioeconomic deprivation, and breakdown common barriers to participation. 90% of the programme is focused on sport with 10% dedicated to life skills workshops.

Fight for Peace £95,000 to deliver a sports programme based on their ‘Five Pillars’ approach which are configured in different ways that follow a public health approach to violence prevention at primary / prevention level, secondary / intervention level, and tertiary / rehabilitation level.

StreetGames £120,000 to work with five locally trusted organisations (LTOs) across London, StreetGames will use Doorstep Sport to engage and retain vulnerable young people to prevent and deter them from getting involved in youth crime, gangs and entering the youth justice system. Training opportunities will also be offered to these young people to increase their skills, confidence and knowledge so that they can progress into volunteering and employment in their own communities.

The Change Foundation £95,000 to deliver three projects across a 12-month period. These projects work with the most at-risk young people, using sport as a positive intervention to steer them away from crime.


  1. The Young Londoners Fund is already funding:
  • £750,000 for Stepping Stones to 15 schools to scale up City Hall’s Stepping Stones programme to support vulnerable students move from primary to secondary school. 
  • £300,000 for Mental Health First Aid Training for professionals working with children and young people.
  • £1.15m for MOPAC Knife Crime Community Seeds to increase total funding to £1.4m. 43 projects have been funded to support communities, neighbourhoods and families to stand up against knife crime. 
  • £90,000 for Sport Unites summer activity for sports clubs, youth centres and community organisations to provide activities for young Londoners during the school summer holidays.


  1. Bidding for £15m Young Londoners Fund grants opened on 15th May 2018 and closed on 9th July 2018.
  • Successful medium and large grant projects (between £90,000 and £1.5m) will be announced in November 2018. 
  • Applications will open for a further £15m round of Young Londoners Fund grants in May 2019.


  1. The Mayor published his full and comprehensive Knife Crime Strategy in June 2017. Since then:
  • To help young people and their parents plan their summer and find out what is happening in their local area, Sadiq will be launching an interactive map in early August, with details of all the activities and projects that City Hall has funded. He is calling on boroughs, community groups, charities, youth centres and schools to provide City Hall with details of schemes they are running to be added to the map. It will allow Londoners to search for what’s going on in the communities around them.
  • The Mayor has invested an additional £138m in the Met over the last two years in order to reduce the impact of the Government’s massive cuts to policing budgets. This includes £15m specifically to help tackle knife crime.
  • Every single London borough now has a bespoke knife crime action plan created in partnership with the Met police.
  • Every school and college in London can now receive a knife wand, to help keep young people safe and prevent knife crime at school. 200 schools in London have taken up the Mayor's offer of a knife wand and the Deputy for Policing and Crime, Sophie Linden, wrote again to schools reminding them of how they can obtain a wand if they would like one.
  • On 31 October 2017, the Mayor hosted a Knife Crime Education Summit which brought together education providers, education leaders, Principals, Academy Trust Chairs, board members and Governmental bodies to better understand their needs and agree a plan of action to help tackle knife crime. As a result, Ofsted have agreed to deliver a thematic inspection on knife crime and safeguarding in London schools.
  • The Mayor is working to increase the number of Safer Schools Officers across the capital, to engage with pupils and drive down crime in schools.
  • The Mayor’s first anti-knife crime media campaign, ‘London Needs You Alive’, launched in November. The campaign brings together role models and social media youth ‘influencers’ to encourage young people away from carrying a knife, focusing on their talent and worth to the capital. With hundreds of thousands of social media followers between them, leading grime artist Yungen, MC Bossman Birdie, photographer Tom Sloan and urban poet Hussain Manawer are among those supporting it.
  • The Mayor confirmed he is investing £1.4m to continue to provide youth workers in Major Trauma Centres, and place more youth workers to hospital A&E departments, to help steer young Londoners who have been involved in knife crime away from violence in the future. Combined with the Mayor’s Young Londoner’s funding this brings total investment in specialist youth support in hospitals to £2.7million between 2018-2020.
  • During Operation Winter Nights, which ran from November until December 2017, the Met made over 900 arrests and took more than 350 weapons off the streets – including 278 knives, 61offensive weapons and 20 firearms. The total number of arrests included 334 arrests following stop and searches.
  • In November, MOPAC and the Met hosted a retailers’ workshop to discuss what more the business community can do to reduce knife crime. Attendees included representatives from Business Crime Reduction Partnerships, Business Improvement Districts, Trading Standards, Local Police, national retailers, independent retailers, the British Retail Consortium and British Independent Retailer Association.
  • MOPAC is creating the London Knife Crime Dashboard which will be publicly available. This will be one of a number of dashboards that the public and stakeholders can use access and interpret data on a number of types of crime.


  1. The Mayor has dedicated additional funds to projects to help tackle youth violence, including:
  • Information Sharing to Tackle Violence (£168,000)
  • Victim Support for Children & Young people (£700,000 in 2018-19 and £2million over two years between 2019 and 2021)
  • Youth projects under the London Crime Prevention Fund (£5,295,717)


  1. Prevention is more effective than enforcement, but the fact remains that after years of Government underfunding and cuts, the Met police is significantly underfunded causing a huge drain on resources and officer numbers are falling. Time and again, we have called on the Government, who are responsible for more than 70 per cent of the Met police budget, to do the right thing and give our police the funds they need to keep us safe. But they have refused. We will continue to work tirelessly to help keep our young Londoners safe.

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