More than 15,000 young Londoners are benefiting from an additional £2.1million investment by the Mayor Sadiq Khan in activities and projects over the summer #UK

Channel 1 Los Angeles

MONDAY 17 AUGUST 2020 London

The funding is helping 85 youth organisations across the capital at a crucial time, as London emerges from lockdown and ahead of the new school year.

City Hall research, backed up by a UK Youth report on the impact of COVID-19, shows that lockdown has had a significant impact on young people’s mental health, wellbeing, loneliness, activity levels and future opportunities, and continues to have a disproportionate impact on the most vulnerable, those from disadvantaged backgrounds, and those from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, who are likely to suffer the worst effects of the recession.[1]

The research also reveals evidence of a link between poor mental health, poverty and deprivation, and young people becoming involved in or becoming victims of serious violence. [2]

The Mayor and London’s Violence Reduction Unit have invested an additional £2.1 million to support projects over the summer and autumn which are dedicated to improving the wellbeing and opportunities of young people aged up to 25 across London, including some of the most vulnerable young people and their families.

Since the launch of the Mayor’s Young Londoners Fund in May 2018, it has supported more than 300 projects that will help more than 110,000 young people fulfil their potential, particularly those who are at risk of getting caught up in crime. Despite the huge challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 75 per cent of Young Londoners Fund projects continued delivering during the lockdown – with some seeing significant increase in demand from vulnerable young people.

Today, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Sophie Linden, visited ‘The Power of One’ project, run by the Crystal Palace Foundation in Bromley, to see how it is benefitting from the Mayor’s Young Londoners Fund. This summer the organisation has been providing hockey and dance sessions for young people. ‘The Power of One’ delivers physical activities and youth worker support for young people across local parks, open spaces, and a local hub.

Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Sophie Linden, said: “This summer, young people have been facing an uncertain future and struggling with the impact lockdown has had on their mental health, financial situation and future education and job plans. Sadly we know some have been pushed further into poverty, which is deeply worrying, particularly when we already know there is a clear link between deprivation and serious youth violence. 

“That’s why it is more important than ever we give young Londoners the support they need throughout the summer, and ahead of the new school year. The Mayor’s funding is supporting some of the city’s most vulnerable young people, providing crucial activities – sports and creative programmes – that help build skills, relationships and resilience, and provide early-intervention opportunities to prevent young people from being involved in or a victim of crime.”

Elaine Harrison, Crystal Palace Community Trust Development Manager, said: “Although we’ve been supporting young people throughout lockdown Crystal Palace Community Trust (CPCT) needed a dynamic summer programme to be seen to be ‘back in business’ and sending out a clear message of hope for the future to young people and our communities.

“The Anerley area has been disproportionately impacted by COVID 19 but CPCT are determined to support our community, especially our children and young people as they adjust to a new normal.

“We know that more is needed and are looking forward to September and an extended series of exciting activities at weekends and in the evenings and a ‘Get into Work’ programme aimed at supporting young people into employability and work.”

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