First projects benefiting from £45m Young Londoners Fund announced

14 March 2018


  • Mayor calls on Government to take real action on the causes of knife crime and other violent crimes which are rising across the UK


  • 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


  • First £5m of allocations announced to scale up existing projects including support for community sports initiatives, gang exit programmes and projects to train teachers and youth workers in mental health first aid  


  • Local communities, charities and schools to be invited to bid for a share of a further £10m later this spring



Sadiq Khan will meet with the Home Secretary later today to call on the Government to take real action to tackle the causes of knife crime and other violent crimes, which are rising across the UK.


The Mayor has also released the first details of how organisations will be able to benefit from the new £45m fund he has set up to help young people in London at risk of being caught up in crime.


Sadiq created the Young Londoners Fund 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. In contrast to this investment by the Mayor, central government continues to cut vital services including £22m from London’s youth services since 2011, which have resulted in the closure of some 30 youth centres that had served at least 12,700 young Londoners*.


The Mayor’s Young Londoners Fund will support a wide range of activities to help those aged between 10 and 25, particularly marginalised, low income and Black And Minority Ethnic (BAME) young Londoners who might otherwise be at risk of getting caught up in crime. It will provide aspirational and positive activities to help young people reach their true potential.


Today the Mayor set out how he intends the first £5m of funding to be 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 exist 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



Sadiq has repeatedly called on the Government to meet with him to discuss what more can be done to tackle the rise in knife crime since 2014. At his meeting with the Home Secretary later today the crisis in police funding will be at the top of his agenda.


The Mayor has stepped up to do whatever he can with a comprehensive programme of measures in his knife crime strategy, an unprecedented cash boost of £110m for the police this year, including £15m specifically for the police to tackle knife crime, as well as his new £45m Young Londoners Fund over the next three years.


The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “I am investing £45 million to tackle the root causes of rising violent crimes like knife attacks – now the Government simply must act on what is clearly a nationwide problem.


“I am doing everything possible in London to be not only tough on knife crime, but tough on the causes of knife crime too.


“Prevention is the most effective tool we have, which is why it is extremely disappointing that the government has repeatedly slashed funding on support and activities for young Londoners over the last eight years.


“I have stepped up where the government is letting our young people down. I am providing unprecedented additional funds to the Met police, driving forward a full and comprehensive Knife Crime Strategy and my new Young Londoners Fund will help countless young people to thrive, prosper and make the right choices to avoid being sucked into a life of crime.


“The Government’s own statistics show that this is a national problem – it’s time the Government started proving national solutions.”


Ashley Watt 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. She said: “I am really pleased about the new £45 million fund for the young Londoners. We have needed more investment in these projects for some time now and it will allow our communities to do more to help young people regain hope to come off the streets and build brighter futures.”


The Chief Executive of Safer London, Sherry Peck, said: “We are very grateful for the support we receive from the Mayor, which helps to support young people affected by gangs or youth violence. This additional funding will help us reach even more young people.”


Headteacher at Gladesmore Community School in Tottenham, Tony Hartney CBE, said: “I am absolutely delighted that the Stepping Stones project, developed by Gladesmore Community School and piloted by a group of London schools, is to be expanded so that many more vulnerable children moving from primary to secondary school can be supported. This project has proved to be effective in combating disaffection and transforming attitudes to education and learning.”


Young People’s Projects Leader at London Bubble, Marie Vickers, said: “London Bubble Theatre is thrilled to be partnering with HeadStart Action. It’s inspiring to work with likeminded organisations to engage and empower young people in Southwark secondary schools as they explore and interrogate the world around them. We are three sessions in and already impressed by the quality of theatre being made by students at ARK Globe Academy. In fact, we can’t wait to see how the project develops over the next few months.”


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.

Notes to editors

* London’s Lost Youth Services report (Sian Berry, 2017):

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 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. 106 schools are now using wands 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.


  • £250,000 of community seed funding has been made available to community groups and grass-roots anti-knife initiatives across London, to fund work with young people preventing and protecting them from knife crime.


  • 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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