Mayor funds summer activities to support vulnerable young Londoners

31 July 2018
  • Sadiq investing £750,000 in 15 schools to deliver programme of activities for the most vulnerable primary-school leavers.
  • 2,100 at-risk young Londoners to benefit from latest phase of £45m Young Londoners Fund.


The Mayor Sadiq Khan today announced funding for schools to provide safe, positive summer activities and ongoing support for more than 2,000 of the most vulnerable young Londoners.

Through his new £45m Young Londoners Fund, the Mayor has awarded £750,000 to 15 schools – spanning 10 boroughs from Barking & Dagenham to Ealing and Croydon to Enfield – including much-needed free and positive activities during the summer holidays when education standards are known to drop and young people can be led astray.

Schools started rolling out the Mayor’s ‘Stepping Stones’ programme in the first week of the school holidays, supporting at least 2,100 young Londoners over the next two years. Each school works with a minimum of 100 Year 7 pupils (10-11 years old) and 40 Year 10 pupils (14-15 years old) who act as mentors. The scheme aims to give pupils a head start in making the transition from primary school to secondary school.

Stepping Stones is a targeted, school-led programme for vulnerable pupils from deprived and disadvantaged backgrounds who are most at risk of disengaging with the education system and therefore susceptible to being drawn into criminal activity. Pupils may be considered vulnerable if they have poor attendance, low attainment or an older sibling with contact with the police or gang involvement. Activities offered as part of the programme include: 

    • A two-week summer school of educational and teambuilding activities to help immerse incoming Year 7 pupils in the secondary school environment before term begins. Morning sessions are typically focussed on improving core Maths and English skills, followed by an afternoon teambuilding exercise concentrating on social skills and integration.
      • Peer mentoring from Year 10 pupils to support Year 7 pupils via weekly one-to-one sessions throughout their first year of school.
      • Sessions for Year 10 pupils to support them in developing skills required to mentor Year 7 pupils through their first year.
      • Aspirational and career-based activities working with external organisations to inspire Year 7 pupils about different careers and future goals.
      • Targeted lessons for Year 7 students, helping them to develop their confidence and ability to deal with different social and academic situations.
      • Engagement with parents to decrease their own anxiety about how their children are coping with the transition and life in secondary school.

Today, the Mayor visited Gladesmore Community School in South Tottenham. Gladesmore ran the programme last academic year as a pilot and have chosen to continue it due to its success, which included improved performance in Maths and English compared to previous Year 7 cohorts, a strong improvement in attendance rates and more confident pupils both in the classroom and social settings. The Urswick School in Hackney and Heathcote School and Science College in Chingford also ran successful pilots.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Leaving primary school and starting secondary school is an important crossroads in any young Londoners’ life, but for some communities it can be a particularly crucial time where the decisions and paths taken can affect not only that child but their entire community.

“Stepping Stones offers help, advice and support to young people, giving them structure during the summer holidays – as well as sustained support during their first year of secondary school – a time when the most vulnerable can be led astray.

“That’s why, after a successful pilot, I am announcing £750,000 for 15 schools to roll out the programme to help and support thousands of young Londoners, including summer schools like these to give them something constructive and safe to do during the summer holidays.

“Massive Government cuts have decimated youth programmes and there are now far fewer opportunities like this for young people, making it all too easy for them to make poor choices.

“As Mayor, I am determined to give those that work hard a helping hand and that means providing opportunities to support young people so they make the right choices in life and fulfil their potential.”

Tony Hartney CBE, Headteacher at Gladesmore Community School, said: “I am absolutely delighted that the Stepping Stones project is to be expanded so that many more vulnerable children moving from primary to secondary school can be supported. This is a superb initiative that has proved to be effective in combating disaffection and transforming attitudes to education and learning. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

“Some of the stand out benefits includes improvements in the School Ethos, where trained older pupils act as responsible role models and guide the younger children. They help them settle into secondary school, help them make good choices and generally help them get into good learning habits. The engagement of the young people, gives them something positive to aim for over the long term and activities to participate in, in and out of usual school hours. This has all notably contributed to improved progress, behaviour and attendance.”


The Mayor will be funding more projects this summer and throughout the course of the year as money is allocated from the first major bidding round of the Young Londoners Fund, which closed earlier this month.

Sadiq will shortly be publishing an interactive map with details of all the activities and projects that City Hall and partners have funded to help young people and their parents plan their summer and beyond, by finding out what is happening in their local area. The map will form part of Sadiq’s comprehensive programme of measures to protect Londoners from knife crime, which includes publishing a dedicated Knife Crime Strategy for London last summer, investing a further £138m in the Met Police over the last two years, including £15m specifically for the police to tackle knife crime, and launching his £45m Young Londoners Fund for projects that offer skills, training, mentoring and help young people aspire to reach their potential and avoid getting caught up in crime.


Notes to editors

  1. The 15 schools receiving Young Londoners Fund money to deliver Stepping Stones are:


Eastbury Community School, Barking and Dagenham

Jo Richardson Community School, Barking and Dagenham

Whitefield School, Barnet

Preston Manor, Brent

Harris Academy South Norwood, Croydon

Meridian High School, Croydon

The Archbishop Lanfranc Academy, Croydon

Featherstone High School, Ealing

Northolt High School, Ealing

Oasis Academy Hadley, Enfield

Eltham Hill School, Greenwich

Harris Academy Greenwich, Greenwich

Heartlands High School, Haringey

Central Foundation Girls’ School, Tower Hamlets

Rushcroft Foundation School, Waltham Forest


  1. 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.


  1. In March, the Mayor set out the first £5m of funding which is being used to expand projects for Young Londoners that City Hall are already supporting (in 2018-19):
  • £1m to expand grassroots sports community grants and partnership programmes (total lifetime funding £3m)


  • £1.15m of additional funds for small voluntary and community projects to tackle knife crime in affected neighbourhoods (total lifetime funding £1.4m)


  • £500,000 to support services that help young Londoners to exit gangs – both those involved in youth violence and those who are exploited (total lifetime funding £2m)


  • £250,000 to expand the Stepping Stones programme which supports vulnerable students moving from primary to secondary school (total lifetime funding £750,000)


  • £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 Major Trauma and Accident and Emergency youth work departments across London (total lifetime funding £2.7m)


  • £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:


  • To help young people and their parents plan their summer and find out what is happening in their local area, Sadiq will be launching 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 invested an additional £138m 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 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. 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.


  • 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 additional funds to projects to help tackle youth violence, including:
  • Information Sharing to Tackle Violence (£168,000)
  • Victim Support for Children & Young people (£700,000 in 2018-19 and £2million over two years between 2019 and 2021)
  • 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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