Mayor launches new £15m youth funding round

By Joanne Parkes

| 16 May 2019

London youth projects are invited to apply for a share of a £15m mayoral fund aimed at supporting young people in the capital's high crime areas.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan is inviting applications for the Young Londoners Fund. Picture: London Assembly Webcasts

London mayor Sadiq Khan claims the new wave of funding from the Young Londoners Fund, will provide positive opportunities for up to 40,000 young people.

The fund is part of a package of measures aimed at encouraging young people to make the right choices and, for some, diverting them away from criminality and anti-social behaviour.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: "If you run a community group or project that is making a difference to children and teenagers in the capital, please apply for this funding and give young Londoners a chance to shape their future.

"Over the last year I've seen first-hand the difference that organisations are already making to thousands of young people in our city and we must continue to provide positive, meaningful activities to help them make the right choices in life.

"Diversion and prevention must go hand-in-hand with enforcement in our fight against violent crime in London, which is why this fund is an essential part of City Hall's public-health approach to tackling the root causes of crime."

The announcement follows £20m of City Hall investment last year that it claims is benefitting 66,000 teenagers and children.

The last round of mayoral funding saw more than 450 applications from youth projects.

Khan launched the latest leg with a visit to the Football Beyond Borders project at Elmgreen School in West Norwood, which previously received funding for engaging young teenagers through football.

Joe Watfa, head of delivery at Football Beyond Borders, said: "We applied to the Young Londoners Fund because we wanted to deliver a preventative programme aimed at working closely with disengaged 10-16 year olds in our community who were at risk of developing entrenched, challenging behaviour patterns leading to permanent school exclusion.

"I would encourage other organisations to apply for this fund if they want to make a real difference in the lives of some of the hardest to reach young people in London.

"We have already seen a marked improvement in some of our participants who have demonstrated a willingness to try new things and are more confident about their futures."

The mayor's office said more than £39m has been lost from London's youth services since 2011.

This has led to local authorities' youth service budgets being cut by an average of 44 per cent, resulting in the closure of 81 youth centres and the loss of at least 800 full-time youth workers in the capital.

Local networks have been setup across London to provide advice and guidance to organisations applying to round two of the fund, including local information sessions.

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