Young Londoners at risk of getting caught up in crime will be supported by a new £45 million fund created by Mayor Sadiq Khan to counter government cuts and “end the scandal of young talent going to waste”.
The Young Londoners Fund will invest in vital services to help vulnerable children and young adults develop, particularly those who have been left behind or marginalised, and work to prevent them being sucked into crime.
In London, Government cuts over the last eight years have forced councils to slash more than £22m from youth services, with 30 youth centres closed and at least 12,700 places for young people lost.
“It is shameful that because of this Government’s cuts, youth services across the capital have been decimated,” Sadiq said.
“I know from personal experience that for many young people, particularly those from deprived and disadvantaged communities, activities and services for young people offer support at crucial times, have a really positive impact and help keep them on the straight and narrow,” the Mayor said.
The three-year fund will see £10m a year made available for local communities, charities and schools to bid for. The remaining £5m a year will be invested to scale up existing projects funded by City Hall that support young Londoners.
Sadiq announced the Young Londoners Fund while visiting the Salmon Youth Centre in Bermondsey, which supports young people to fulfil their potential and contribute positively to their communities.
“Salmon has been reaching out to young people in inner city London for over a hundred years,” Sam Adofo, Director at the Salmon Youth Centre, said.
“We very much welcome The Mayor’s Young Londoners Fund as it means youth centres like ours will be able to continue the work we do and impact many more young lives.”
The funding comes in addition to the £7m investment the Mayor has already made into knife and gang crime projects in 2017-18.