Mayor thanks Londoners as Mayoral charities pass £20 million mark

28 September 2015
  • Mayor's charities raise over £20 million since 2008, benefiting thousands of young Londoners in every borough
  • Mayor's Fund for Londoners, Mayor's Music Fund and legacy List working to improve opportunities for youngsters across the capital

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson today thanked Londoners and businesses that have helped to raise a staggering £20 million for the three charities he set up to increase opportunities and improve the life chances for young people in the capital.

Since 2008, funding has been pouring in from dozens of businesses, philanthropists, corporate sponsors, as well as thousands of individual Londoners, to support the important work being done by the Mayor's Fund for London, the Mayor's Music Fund and The Legacy List. Tens of thousands of young people across every London borough have benefited as a result of this generosity.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: 'London is one of the most successful cities in the world and as we emerge from the economic downturn I want to ensure all young Londoners are able to share in our city's future success and prosperity.

'Thanks to the generosity of businesses and Londoners themselves thousands of youngsters across the capital have benefited over the last eight years. From giving disadvantaged young Londoners the skills and opportunities to get a decent job and nurturing the talent of gifted young musician to creating educational and cultural programmes for young people as a legacy of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, I am immensely proud and grateful for the public spiritedness that is to be found in our city. There is still more that needs to be done and I hope more people living and working in the capital will be inspired to support the important work of our three charities.'

The Mayor's Fund for London alone has spent almost £13 million to support young Londoners in all 33 boroughs. Its activities have benefited 50,000 young people in schools and helped 1,500 unemployed youngsters into work. The Fund is also currently working with 200 schools and 250 employers in the capital.

The Mayor's Music Fund has similarly enjoyed a huge amount of support from businesses, philanthropists and other supporters since being established in 2011. Each year it awards grants worth £400,000 to enable gifted youngsters to develop their talent as musicians, with 340 talented children from low-income families receiving four year music scholarships. In addition, more than 6,500 young Londoners have also taken part in music and cultural projects, including being mentored by and performing alongside professional musicians at venues around the capital.

The Legacy List, which was established to ensure local children benefit from the cultural and education opportunities being created in and around Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, has invested more than £1,700,000 in a creative programme and has been working with 650,000 local people, including 16,000 pupils from 120 schools in the boroughs surrounding the park. The Legacy List has supported almost 70 cultural organisations to build new audiences amongst the local population and through its partners has supported a range of activity by 530 artists.

The charity, which has merged with the Foundation for FutureLondon, set up for the advancement of art, culture, education, heritage and science in east London, has also supported 718 jobs, training and volunteering opportunities and 140 arts awards undertaken by 14-25 year olds.

Michelle Pinggera, Partner, Goldman Sachs, which supports the Mayor's Fund for London, said: 'Here at Goldman Sachs we support Young London Working, a Mayor's Fund programme that creates pathways to jobs, apprenticeships and work experience. The Mayor's Fund has carried out important work across the capital for a number of years – positively impacting the lives of thousands of young people – and we are proud to continue our support for them.'

Lord Fink said: 'The Mayor's Fund for London has achieved great things over the years and I am very proud to be one of the founding trustees. It has equipped thousands of young Londoners with the skills and opportunities to get a decent job. Over the next three years, our aim is to help another 100,000 young people in London.'

Jonathan Moulds, Group Chief Operating Officer for Barclays Bank Plc, commented: 'As a Trustee and supporter of the Mayor’s Music Fund I am delighted to see the positive impact of the charity’s work on young Londoners through the Scholarship and Partnership programmes. I am thrilled to have been a part of this organisation over the past four years and I look forward to its continued success.'

Lincoln Abbotts, Director of Strategic Development at ABRSM, said: 'ABRSM wants to support and inspire as many people as possible to participate and progress in music. That's why we're working in partnership with the Mayor's Music Fund to give young musicians in London the opportunity to realise their musical potential.'


Steven Elworthy (aged 23, Lewisham)

I began on an employability programme (SAY) which helped in my ability to land interviews and be confident in interviews by assisting me with my CV, providing tips and re-wording key skills employers want. SAY also helped me with interview techniques by allowing me to practise with REAL employers and receive feedback from them which as a fellow jobseeker will know is rare.

Young London Working Helped me much more after the two week programme, on a daily basis I was being provided with new and career-related opportunities, Young London Working helped me fill out application forms, fast-track me to interviews and using my skills I was taught by SAY and Young London Working I managed to land myself a job as a Client Services Support Administrator for Optimity. Furthermore due to taking this role on board I had to refuse several other job offers which would never have happened if I didn't pay attention to what both SAY and Young London Working had taught me.

The best advice I can give to any jobseeker; never give up, see every result as positive, if you didn't get the job you applied for, take the experience to a new interview and as you go forward your techniques will become more crisp and your confidence cannot falter!

Ayah (Year 5, Grange Primary School, Southwark)

Through Be the Best You Can Be, I have learned that no matter how hard something is you must keep trying, giving up is not an option. I would like to be a famous netball player and I know now that I have to train harder to work towards this and never give up. If that doesn’t work, I would like to be a doctor so I am studying hard at the moment in all of subjects. I enjoy school because I can achieve my dream by learning more here.

Jhemar (aged 13, Lambeth Academy)

Participating in the Count on Us Secondary Challenge has helped me speed up my thought process. The first time I was introduced to one particular element, I was thinking, "How am I supposed to do this is in such a short time?" But I adapted to it and learned how to complete the challenge more quickly. I think these skills will help me find a job one day, a job that suits me, my capabilities and my personality. This challenge has allowed me to get to know myself better and because of the skills I have developed, I know what I can achieve now when it comes to problem solving. From day one it's been about maths and music for me. There is problem-solving in music that relates to maths. In maths, it's about learning how to approach problems with the right strategy. Music is the same. Just like algebra, in music you have to get dynamics, tone, pitch and more all right for it to work.


Louis Lodder (aged 11, Hackney)

"My experience as a Mayor's Music Scholar has made me very sure I want to be a professional musician."

Louis is one of the first cohort of Mayor's Music Scholars to graduate from the 4-year programme. Throughout his time with the Fund his musical ability went from strength to strength as he developed both his technical playing and his composition skills, and with this his overall confidence grew.

Having started playing the Tenor Horn, Louis progressed to the French Horn on which he was recently awarded ABRSM Grade 5 distinction.  He was also awarded Grade 4 distinction on piano.

Louis loves listening and playing Jazz music.  He has performed in the Jazz Proms at Hackney Town Hall, and is rising to be a soloist with the Hackney Training Orchestra. Now that Louis has graduated from his Mayor's Music Fund Scholarship he will be joining Forest School on a music scholarship.

Durga Ganesh (aged 14, Southwark)

"The Scholarship has definitely improved my confidence and playing music gives me a way to express my emotions."

Durga has taken full advantage of all that the MMF Scholarship has had to offer and has developed her playing and composition skills on the flute, violin and piano. Her participation in choir has also led her to being part of a collaborative project "The Commonwealth Festival Choir” that performed during the Commonwealth Observance Day in March and will travel to Malta for the 2015 Commonwealth Conference in November.

In addition to Durga's musical skills her mentor and teachers have noticed the positive impact that her experience as an MMF Scholar has had on the rest of her education. Durga is making above average progress in English, maths and French, and they believe this is down to her being highly motivated, attentive and resourceful - All skills that she has developed through her Scholarship.


One of the first projects funded by the Mayor's Music Fund, support for the "young people's orchestra for the 21st Century" spans three years. Working in partnership with Lambeth, Southwark, Lewisham, Greenwich Music Services, Trinity Laban Conservatoire and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the cross-borough holiday courses reach over 650 young musicians a year through workshops, ensemble playing and live performances.

Always pushing musical boundaries, the courses are based on selected repertoire from the orchestra's current season. The young musicians work together to create their own piece, improvised and prepared with the help of professional musicians which enables them to explore new and extended performance techniques. A unique aspect of Animate is the "Music Tech" section, an unprecedented opportunity for non-classical musicians to gain ensemble experience and develop advanced music technology skills.

"I've noticed last year that through Animate her confidence is building. It's slow, but it's steady. …She knows that she could be good at something. She knows she can make friends. So, it's little steps." Parent of Animate Participant


Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Summer School is an initiative developed by The Legacy List in 2013 to offer children in east London a creative learning experience in the Park.  Using the Park as inspiration, the Summer Schools are led by commissioned artists and performers alongside youth experts. The programme supports children through the transition from primary to secondary school in the neighbouring boroughs in the neutral setting of the Park. Through the summer months, children develop valuable skills they will need to prepare for the change from year 6 to year 7 in September. Since they began over 600 children have taken part in the summer school programme from 18 schools, some of which have returned each year.

This summer, over 200 children took part in the two summer schools which were led by SPACE and Wayne McGreogor I Random Dance and dealt with issues such as alienation, getting lost and building confidence as well as engaging the children in a creative activity.

'Other secondary schools don’t do this, and I feel like all schools should, because you get to meet new people, you get to know your way around a school, and I’d like to continue dancing because of this experience I’ve had. Overall I loved coming here, I thought it was so fun, I wish there was another week, it was such a great opportunity to come and work with professional dancers and perform.'

Fahmida, 11 years, Morpeth School, about taking part in Random Dance | Wayne McGregor’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Summer School

'Having my data shown in this artwork is quite exciting because if I was walking past it one day and I saw people standing there reading it, I would think that’s nice, I would think: that’s my work, and I know I’ve worked hard to do that and people are enjoying it now.'

Name withheld, 11 years, Bow School, Tower Hamlets, speaking about his work during SPACE’s Summer School its input into the final artwork created by artist Stefanie Posavec.

The final artwork created as part of the SPACE Summer School can be seen at the entrance to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park until mid-November.  The East London Canvas is a partnership with LendLease and LCR to showcase the creative talent of east London.

A film made by Wayne McGregor I Random Dance of will be available on our website in the coming weeks.  


Notes to editors

1. The Mayor's Fund for London exists to provide young Londoners with skills and opportunities to get a decent job and escape the threat of poverty. Since its inception in 2009, the Mayor’s Fund has contributed almost £13m in supporting four-24 year-olds across the city to work towards better life chances. Our work focuses on three priorities:

  • Health and Wellbeing: Helping young Londoners to be engaged, healthy and motivated to learn
  • Skills: Extra support for core skills which employers say are absolutely essential, particularly numeracy and literacy
  • Employment: Supporting employers to create decent and sustainable career prospects for young Londoners

Our work reaches every London borough. More than 4,000 hungry children in London schools and holiday clubs start the day fit and ready to learn thanks to our Breakfast Clubs. Our literacy and numeracy projects are helping 10,000 young Londoners improve their reading and maths. The next three years will see us find over 1,500 decent jobs and opportunities for unemployed young Londoners and reach 100,000 more young Londoners in the capital’s most disadvantaged communities.

2. The Mayor's Music Fund is an independent charity with the Mayor of London as Founder Patron. The Charity provides grants of circa £400,000 every year to enable thousands of children and young people across every London borough to develop their musical potential, through 4-year scholarships and by opportunities to learn from and perform alongside professionals. Since January 2012 the Mayor's Music Fund has worked with over 6,500 aspiring young musicians with more accessing the programmes every term.

3. The Legacy List has merged with the Foundation for FutureLondon, which will deliver a programme for the advancement of art, culture, education, heritage and science in east London. The Foundation for FutureLondon is the Olympicopolis charity, realising the ambition of a new cultural and university district on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Incorporating Sadler's Wells, University of the Arts London, University College London and the Victoria and Albert Museum, the scheme is expected to deliver £2.8 billion of economic value to Stratford and the surrounding area.