Making Our Voices Heard

Asking our members how effectively we represent them is key to how we measure our performance and you have asked us to be more of a voice and to share what we are doing with our network.

Since our last update in April, significant changes have happened in London which have affected all of us, some in extremely tragic circumstance. The General Election saw a much increased turnout of young voters and we plan to build on this by continuing to call for more investment in opportunities for young people in the city. In this context, below is a summary of our recent policy and influencing activity which has included a wide range of our members:

Grenfell Tower – community response
The tragedy has cast a huge shadow over the lives of many Londoners. Organisations  in our network have shown incredible dedication as part of the strong community response. Funders in the capital have also been very supportive – both in the immediate response and in planning over the longer term. London Youth is working with London Funders, John Lyon’s Charity and others to help ensure this.

#OurLDNsummer
London Youth is working with a range of funders and the GLA to support the campaign #OurLDNsummer, highlighting the range of activities offered by youth organisations in the school holidays. Supporting this does not stop us from continuing to make the case for more resources but we believe that this campaign can help bring recognition for the important work our members do all year round. If you are running summer activities and want to be part of the campaign, go to www.london.gov.uk/ourLDNsummer

Talent Match Mark and Employability support for young Londoners
Evidence from Talent Match London shows that one of the barriers young people face in getting work is not being able to access suitable, supported work experience. So in early July a recognition scheme for employers which are providing this – The Talent Match Mark – was launched by London Youth  in partnership with Youth Employment UK, which will continue to manage the Mark, along with Movement to Work, the Big Lottery Fund and a range of employers.

After the launch of the Mark, the Deputy Director for Labour Market Intervention Strategy in the Department for Work and Pensions visited a Talent Match scheme. This follows on from the visit we hosted in March from the Minister of State for Employment, Damien Hinds.

We have also commissioned some qualitative research to better understand the characteristics of young people ‘hidden’ from the labour market and who make up a large proportion of the Talent Match London participants. If we are going to sustain elements of the programme – and also influence policy change – it is vital we understand them and the kinds of support and interventions young people need to help them find and sustain work. This research is due to complete in October.

Knife Crime strategy
Our Tackling Youth Violence Network has continued to provide evidence and ideas to MOPAC (the Mayor’s Office on Police and Crime, which oversees crime strategy and delivery in London) and the police. A large number of London Youth members were recognised within the Mayor’s Knife Crime strategy document for their contribution to the thinking and new policy.

Sport and social integration
We’ve met several times with the Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Matthew Ryder, who wants his role to drive better opportunities for young people. The fact that the Mayor has created this portfolio, and attached such importance to social mobility and integration, is very welcome.  It is partly a recognition of the work that we and many others have done through initiatives such as the London Fairness Commission, the Vision for Young Londoners and Young People’s Capital of the World report, all aimed at gathering evidence on how to strengthen communities. We are hopeful that the Deputy Mayor will visit some London Youth members over the summer to find out more about how we can help with this agenda.

London Borough of Culture
London Youth is a Supporting Partner in this new initiative for London local authorities, launched in June by the Mayor. The application process for Boroughs which want to participate runs to the end of 2017. The first winners will be announced in February 2018 and winners for the following two years are likely to be named at the same time. There may also be funding for individual projects in boroughs that don’t win. There is a strong focus on young people and we will be supporting our members to work with their own boroughs to participate. You can find more information here.

Youth policy statement
Before the General Election we hosted a very constructive discussion between officials from the Youth Policy Team in the Government’s Office for Civil Society regarding a planned youth policy statement. Since the election there has been a change of Minister  and the Youth portfolio has moved to the Minister for Sport. We are hopeful there will be a youth policy statement in the near future and are keeping in touch with officials so that our initial consultation with members can shape thinking in government.

Polling Young Londoners
Over the summer we will be running a poll with young Londoners to help shape our own provision and that of our members. The questions will cover:

  • Young people’s activity and engagement post election and in relation to social action;
  • Young people’s views of and needs from London, what is good, what should there be more of, how much a part of London do they feel;
  • Young people’s understanding of and value they ascribe to their community.

We’ll provide further detail on this as it develops but we hope it gives us a stronger evidence base from which to talk on behalf of young Londoners.

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