Mayor to invest £15 million in activities for young Londoners

15 May 2019
  • New money from City Hall’s Young Londoners Fund for youth projects and programmes
  • Funding to be targeted at high-crime areas and help up to 40,000 more youngsters

 

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, will today announce £15 million of new investment in youth projects and programmes that are predominately in the capital’s high-crime areas in a move which will provide positive opportunities for up to 40,000 young Londoners. 

 

Starting today, community groups and projects can apply for the next wave of the Mayor’s Young Londoners Fund, with £15m available to support these vital services in giving young Londoners a chance to shape their future.

 

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

 

Today’s announcement follows £20.5m of City Hall investment last year from the Young Londoners Fund, that is already benefitting 66,000 young Londoners, offering better life opportunities for teenagers and children in the capital.

 

Despite continued lobbying for additional funds for these vital services, central government continues to cut funding for preventative and social services. More than £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*.

 

Such is the appetite for youth services, in the last round of City Hall funding more than 450 applications asking for investment of over £120m were received from projects that support children and young people aged between 10-21.

 

Sadiq officially launched the next round of funding at a visit of the Football Beyond Borders project at Elmgreen School in West Norwood. There he saw first-hand how the Young Londoners Fund will help engage young teenagers through football, developing their skills and inspiring people from all backgrounds.

 

There are hundreds of activities for young Londoners to get involved in across the capital, which will provide the key skills they need to reach their full potential. Details can be found on an interactive map hosted on the City Hall website at www.london.gov.uk/our-london. Local networks have been setup across London to provide advice and guidance to organisations applying to round two of the fund, including local information sessions.

 

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “If you run a community group or project that is making a difference to children and teenagers in the capital, please apply for this funding and give young Londoners a chance to shape their future.

 

“Over the last year I’ve seen first-hand the difference that organisations are already making to thousands of young people in our city and we must continue to provide positive, meaningful activities to help them make the right choices in life.

 

“We created the Young Londoners Fund to provide young people with positive alternatives to crime and to help Londoners to get out of criminal gangs and violence and into employment and training. 

 

“Diversion and prevention must go hand-in-hand with enforcement in our fight against violent crime in London, which is why this fund is an essential part of City Hall’s public-health approach to tackling the root causes of crime.”

 

Joe Watfa, Head of Delivery at Football Beyond Borders, said: “We applied to the Young Londoners Fund because we wanted to deliver a preventative programme aimed at working closely with disengaged 10-16 year olds in our community who were at risk of developing entrenched, challenging behaviour patterns leading to permanent school exclusion.

“I would encourage other organisations to apply for this fund if they want to make a real difference in the lives of some of the hardest to reach young people in London. We have already seen a marked improvement in some of our participants who have demonstrated a willingness to try new things and are more confident about their futures.”

 

Laura Bassett, Partnerships Director at Integrate CIC, said: “We are already aware of the substantial impact that the first round of the Mayor’s investment into services for young people is having locally. We are supporting many organisations in the development of a wide variety of projects and partnerships and join them in welcoming the launch of round two of this important fund.”

Notes to editors