Mayor invites groups to bid for share of new Young Londoners Fund

15 May 2018


  • Local communities, charities, youth centres and schools invited to bid for a share of £15m from the Fund, plus an additional £500,000 from Sport Unites


  • Part of the Mayor’s major package of work to help tackle causes of youth violence and knife crime, while Government continues to cut funding



The Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has today invited community groups, charities, youth centres and schools to bid for funding from his new Young Londoners Fund, to help young people at risk of being caught up in crime.


The new Young Londoners Fund totals £45m over three years. Groups from across the capital are today encouraged to apply for a share of this year’s funding – £15m - for projects that offer skills, training, mentoring and help young people aspire to reach their potential and avoid getting caught up in crime.

The Mayor wants this new funding to reach young Londoners as soon as possible and so bids must be in before Monday 9 July, with money expected to be distributed once applications have been assessed. A further £500,000 is available specifically for community organisations to increase social integration and community cohesion through sport as part of the Sport Unites fund.


The Young Londoners Fund is one element of the Mayor’s comprehensive programme of measures to protect Londoners from knife crime, which includes publishing a dedicated Knife Crime Strategy for London last summer, announcing an unprecedented cash boost of £110m for the police this year including £15m specifically for the police to tackle knife crime, and launching his £8.8m Sport Unites programme to bring together people from different backgrounds and strengthening local communities.


The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “Today I am launching the application process for community groups, charities, youth centres and schools to bid for a share of my Young Londoners Fund.


“I refuse to accept that nothing can be done to stem the appalling rise of violent crime we are seeing across the country. Community and grass-roots projects play a vital role in tackling the causes of violent of crime within our communities, and giving more young Londoners the skills, support and aspirations they need to turn away from crime and fulfil their potential.


”That’s why, today, I am encouraging groups working in the community to come forward with ideas that could help make a difference across the city.


“As Mayor, I’m determined to help more young Londoners make positive choices – choices that will not only improve their own lives, but help to keep them, our communities and all Londoners safer.”


Amina Mohamed, aged 20, is a member of City Hall’s Peer Outreach Team, a diverse group of young people aged between 15 and 25 who help to shape the policies that most affect them. Amina said: “This fund will provide countless opportunities to the young people who need it most. It is the start of very positive change around London and it couldn’t have come at a better time”


James Banks, of the London Funders, said: “London Funders welcomes this vital additional investment from the Mayor of London, at a critical time for the front-line community groups, charities and public services working to keep our city's young people safe. Our members fund youth services in every London Borough, and know how needed the £45 million announced today is to our communities.


“We know the Mayor and his team have listened in developing the Young Londoners Fund - they've listened to young people, to people and communities affected by youth violence, and to those committed and talented staff and volunteers who are working across London every day to tackle the issues we face. It is by listening to these voices, learning from experience, shaping solutions together, and recognising the role everyone in every sector can play, that we'll build a city that enables every young Londoner to fulfil their potential."


Ciaran Rafferty, of the City Bridge Trust, said: “The City of London’s charitable funder, City Bridge Trust, welcomes and supports the creation of the Young Londoners Fund which is a significant investment in London’s young people. The Trust will do everything it can to support the successful delivery of the Fund in its aims to harness and support the rich and diverse assets of young Londoners.”


Central government continues to cut vital services including £39m from London’s youth services since 2011, which have resulted in the closure of some 81 youth centres*. The £45m Young Londoners Fund was created by Sadiq in March as a means to protect and 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 marginalised, low-income and Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) 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.


Since 2010-11, the Met’s general grant funding from the Government has fallen by more than £700 million, or nearly 40 per cent in real terms, on a like-for-like basis. In recent years, the Met Police have had to find roughly £600m of savings and the Mayor has found a further £150million of savings since he took office.


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

Notes to editors

  1. Further information and advice on how to apply is now available in the Young Londoners Fund prospectus at


  1. Sport Unites is a £8.8m fund, £3m of which is ring-fenced specifically to benefit young Londoners aged between 10-21 as part of the Mayor’s Young Londoners Fund.


  1. For more information about the Sport Unites programme, please visit: 


  1. In March, the Mayor set out the first £5m of funding which is being used to expand projects for Londoners that City Hall are already supporting. These include:


  • £1m to expand grassroots sports community grants and partnership programmes


  • £1.15m of additional funds for small voluntary and community projects to tackle knife crime in affected neighbourhoods


  • £500,000 to support services that help young Londoners to exit gangs – both those involved in youth violence and those who are exploited


  • £250,000 to expand the Stepping Stones programme which supports vulnerable students moving from primary to secondary school


  • £200,000 for Headstart Action - social action pilot projects linking young people to business via employability workshops and work experience


  • £500,000 for Team London’s volunteering projects for young people affected by mental health issues -  such as those within the criminal justice system or young refugees or asylum seekers


  • £640,000 to extend support for victims of crime, serious violence and sexual exploitation to more Accident and Emergency departments across London


  • £375,000 to train teachers and youth workers in Mental Health First Aid in every state secondary school across London


  • £200,000 for Impact for Youth: support to help local organisations and young people generate and deliver grassroots proposals for the Young Londoners Fund


  • £185,000 to support the Mayor’s anti-knife crime campaigning activities


  1. The Mayor published his full and comprehensive Knife Crime Strategy in June 2017. Since then:


  • The Mayor has invested an additional £110m in the Met in 2018-19 compared to the previous year in order to reduce the impact of the Government’s massive cuts to policing budgets. This includes £15m specifically to help tackle knife crime.


  • The Mayor has created the Young Londoners Fund  – a brand-new £45million fund for local communities and charities to help young people fulfil their potential particularly those who are at risk of getting caught up in 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.


  • 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.


  • The Mayor has dedicated £7m to projects to help tackle youth violence, including: Gang Exit (£500,000), Major Trauma Centres (£444,615), Information Sharing to Tackle Violence (£168,000), Victim Support Children & Young people (£360,861), and youth projects under the London Crime Prevention Fund (£5,295,717).


  • MOPAC and the Met continue work to collaborate and learn from other forces and partners on tackling knife crime and violence. Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime Sophie Linden and Met Commissioner Cressida Dick met Police Scotland in Glasgow in February.


  • 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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