Mayor’s funds helps ensure more than 1,000 activities for young people

19 October 2018


  • 1,052 programmes, groups and activities lined up for young Londoners to get involved in over the half-term period, many of them funded by City Hall
  • London has lost 81 youth centres and 800 full time youth workers as a result of £39m of cuts to youth services since 2011*
  • This forms part of the Mayor’s pledge to provide positive opportunities for young people, especially in the areas most affected by violent crime


The Mayor of London has published details of over 1,000 activities available for young Londoners across the capital during the half-term holidays and beyond - from theatre workshops and music sessions to football clubs and art groups.


An interactive online map details 1,052 activities for young people to take part in, especially those from the 10 boroughs most affected by knife and violent crime. It explains how they can spend time during half-term and beyond at these projects, gaining invaluable skills that are designed to help them reach their full potential.


Details of projects across every borough can be found on the online map, which is hosted on the City Hall website at Activities – including a number that are funded by the Mayor – stretch the length and breadth of the capital.


Sadiq is particularly keen for young people in the ten boroughs most affected by violent crime to get involved in the activities. Examples include:


  • Islington – projects including Code Club UK which teaches computer coding and A Taste of City Farming which gives young people the chance to bake, grow things and care for animals.


  • Hackney – projects including StreetDoctors which empowers young people at risk of violence to learn, share and then go on to teach emergency lifesaving skills and Hoxton Hall who are providing hip hop, contemporary and street dance sessions with some of the finest dancers in Hackney.


  • Croydon – projects including Young Croydon which is giving local youngsters the unique chance to take over the roles and responsibilities of some of the borough’s most senior positions including local councillors, the Croydon Council CEO, Croydon Police and the NHS and Poetic Insight who are holding open-mic sessions for spoken word artists.


  • Tower Hamlets – projects including Bounce Cinema which gives young people practical advice, inspiration and tips on how to break into the film industry and Vinspired who teach young people how to cook nutritious, three-course meals which are then distributed to the community.


  • Newham – projects including Froud Community Centre providing sessions on film animation and Frantic Ignition who provide dance and drama training for young men.


  • Southwark – projects including Burgess Sports who offer a range of sports holiday camps and after-school sporting activities and Southside Young Leaders Academy which mentors African and African-Caribbean boys.


  • Lambeth – projects including BigKid Foundation providing tennis and football sessions for children at risk of exclusion and Southside Harmonics who provide music lessons and the opportunity to join their steel band.


  • Lewisham – projects including the Richard MacVicar Adventure Playground whose activities include DJ workshops and a graffiti board and the Albany who provide acrobatics breakdancing, and circus workshops.


  • Haringey – projects including Bruce Grove Youth Space delivering young women's personal development sessions including creative activities, maths, hair and beauty and Haringey Acquatics who provide swimming lessons and clubs.


  • Enfield – projects including ECYPS Teenscheme who offer holiday schemes and trips and the Godwin Lawson Foundation who work with vulnerable young women at risk of becoming involved with or being exploited by gangs.


The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Giving young Londoners meaningful activities, whether enabling them to be creative or take part in sports, is essential in helping them make the right choices and ensuring they do not end up on the wrong path.


“There’s genuinely something for everyone to get involved in this half term, with brilliant activities right across the capital - whether it’s additional training, playing sports, or just meeting new people in the local area.


“Youth services are vital for Londoners and I will continue to fund and support the fantastic charities and programmes that are making a real and lasting difference to our children and teenagers.


“Crippling cuts to youth services and policing, because of massive reductions in Government funding, have contributed to a rise in violent crime. That’s why I’m making sure that City Hall funding is available for activities for young Londoners over half term –something the government has failed to do. Cuts really do have consequences.”


The £45 million Young Londoners Fund launched by the Mayor of London earlier this year is already helping thousands of children and teenagers in the capital. It provides much-needed events, activities and activities that had been lost because of government cuts.


The £5.5m that Sadiq has invested in young Londoners this year is in stark contrast to the cuts central government is making to vital services. £39million has been lost from youth services since 2011, which translates into a 44 per cent cut for local authorities’ youth service budgets. In the face of 81 youth centres closing and the loss of 800 full-time youth workers, Sadiq’s funding has helped to make sure there are nearly 1,000 activities for young Londoners this half-term, in stark contrast to the government, whose £22m Early Intervention Fund that is intended to cover the whole country has still not begun investing in any projects.


Projects such as the Savvy Theatre Company, Snow-Camp and The Arts Depot Trust are among the hundreds of groups offering activities to help teens and children across London over half-term. Their work is supported by City Hall funding, providing education, sport and cultural activities for young people to participate in their local area, and help steer them away from involvement in crime. 


While many charities and programmes are already benefiting from the Young Londoners Fund, a further £13m from the Mayor of London for other projects across London will be announced next month.


Shuba Rao, Development Director at Savvy Theatre Company, said: “We are holding a range of theatre sessions this half term for young people in Croydon and Sutton.  These areas currently don’t have any theatre or drama groups, and a lot of these children have never had the chance to watch a theatre production before.


“The money from the Young Londoners Fund will allow young people to get involved in developing a whole theatre programme themselves from sets and scripts to production.  The project will reach out to young people with learning disabilities, on the autistic spectrum and young offenders. They will develop a whole range of theatre and drama skills. The programme will give them confidence and an opportunity to engage positively with their community.”


Anna Kent, Communications Manager at Snow-Camp, said: “We are providing exciting opportunities for young people to develop their skills and confidence through snow sports over half term. Young people, who would not otherwise have access to these sports, will be able to experience skiing and snowboarding while taking part in life skills sessions and working towards qualifications in Sports and Fitness. Young people will also have the opportunity to meet industry representatives including Snow-Camp Ambassador and Britain’s Fastest Snowboarder, Jamie Barrow.


“Our recent research, commissioned by YouGov, highlights that we must do more to provide opportunities for our young people. 76% stated that there is a clear link between a lack of positive opportunities and an increased risk of youth falling into crime and antisocial behaviour. The activities we are providing over half term and beyond will provide young people from across London, facing a multitude of social issues, with access to opportunities regardless of their background and ability which can change their lives dramatically.


“The Young Londoners Funding we are receiving will enable us to work with more local community youth projects and youth service providers from across London.” 


Tim Burley, Development Director at The Arts Depot Trust Ltd, said: “We will be running a series of workshops during half term from singing and circus performances to 3d drawing for young people across Barnet. Barnet is one of the largest boroughs by population but has one of the lowest levels of cultural investment. So it is important that we can put out a breadth of activities to attract and engage as many people as possible. Arts Depot can provide a great day for all generations of the family in a safe environment and introduce people to a spectrum of events and expose them to events and activities they would not otherwise access.


“Our Young Londoners Funding, due to start in February 2019, will help us to diversify the type of children and young people who come to events at Arts Depot. Through partnership and outreach work we hope to expand our work into Colindale and Grahame Park. We want everybody in the borough to feel like they can engage with our work and our programmes.”

Notes to editors

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

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


  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 find out what is happening in their local area, Sadiq launched 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 announced plans to establish a new Violence Reduction Unit of specialists in health, police and government to lead and deliver a long-term public health approach to tackling the causes of violent crime.
  • The Mayor has invested an additional £140m 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.
  • 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 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.


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