The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Giving young Londoners meaningful activities, whether enabling them to be creative or take part in sports, is essential in helping them make the right choices and ensuring they do not end up on the wrong path.
“There’s genuinely something for everyone to get involved in, with brilliant activities right across the capital – whether it’s additional training, playing sports, or just meeting new people in the local area.
“Youth services are vital for Londoners and I will continue to fund and support the fantastic charities and programmes that are making a real and lasting difference to our children and teenagers.
“Crippling cuts to youth services and policing, because of massive reductions in Government funding, have contributed to a rise in violent crime. That’s why I’m making sure that City Hall funding is available for activities for young Londoners – something the government has failed to do. Cuts really do have consequences.”
The £45 million Young Londoners Fund launched by the Mayor of London earlier this year is already helping thousands of children and teenagers in the capital. It provides much-needed events, activities and activities that had been lost because of government cuts.
The £5.5m that Sadiq has invested in young Londoners this year is in stark contrast to the cuts central government is making to vital services. £39million has been lost from youth services since 2011, which translates into a 44 per cent cut for local authorities’ youth service budgets. In the face of 81 youth centres closing and the loss of 800 full-time youth workers, Sadiq’s funding has helped to make sure there are over 1000 activities for young Londoners.
Rachel Cruz, Development Director at Switch180, said: “We are providing exciting opportunities for young people to develop their skills and confidence through snowsports. Young people, who would not otherwise have access to these sports, will be able to experience skiing and snowboarding while taking part in life skills sessions and working towards many new qualifications.
“Our recent research, commissioned by YouGov, highlights that we must do more to provide opportunities for our young people. 76% stated that there is a clear link between a lack of positive opportunities and an increased risk of youth falling into crime and antisocial behaviour. The activities we are providing will provide young people from across London, facing a multitude of social issues, with access to opportunities regardless of their background and ability which can change their lives dramatically.
“The Young Londoners Funding we are receiving will enable us to work with more local community youth projects and youth service providers from across London. Thank you to The Mayor and everyone at City Hall for believing in our work.”