The importance of community youth work

Responding to the Grenfell Tower Fire

Over the past few weeks there have been some very significant examples of the vital role that community youth organisations play in London. In particular, many of our members will be aware of the huge contribution made by youth and community organisations in West London in response to the tragic Grenfell Tower fire. As might be expected, the teams and volunteers within the local organisations have been extremely busy and working in difficult and sometimes traumatic circumstance. Many people and organisations – including many London Youth  members – have offered help and support, which those on the ground have welcomed.

Going forward, many organisations will be looking at how they can provide support in the longer term; John Lyon’s charity and London Funders have been co-ordinating efforts to ensure that they can sustain their role in the process. This will help by providing the community with the support it needs in the years after the tragedy. It is essential to consider how the lives of young people living in the surrounding communities have been impacted, and the role that charities will play in helping them in the aftermath.

As such, a group of funders has come together in a coalition to create a simple application process to help organisations access the additional funding they may need to meet the needs of local children and young people. London Youth has been working with these funders to help where we can in making the process as straightforward as possible.

To be eligible to access this funding coalition, you need to be working with children and young people (and their families), who have been affected (directly and indirectly) by the devastating fire that happened at Grenfell Tower.

For more information and how to apply see here: http://jlc.london/news/grenfell-tower-disaster/

Mayor’s knife crime strategy

On June 27th, London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced a new strategy to tackle knife crime. In the announcement the Mayor was keen to stress the role of youth organisations in supporting young people at risk of violence, and argue publicly for more investment in youth work. While we were keen in our response to make clear that youth organisations are about offering positive opportunities for young people over the long term, not just about responding to challenging situations, we nevertheless welcome this recognition. Youth organisations are an essential part of our communities and to see such support from City Hall is an encouraging move in the right direction.

We would also like to thank the many youth workers from across our membership network who provided input to the strategy in our response to Mopac’s crime plan, and at the various meetings we have hosted or attended. Many London Youth members are listed in the names of those organisations which fed into the strategy. Although there will be a wide variety of opinions around an issue as important as tackling knife crime, we hope that the strategy is something which will give opportunities for positive engagement by youth organisations and would welcome your feedback so we can continue the dialogue with MOPAC.

You can read the strategy here: https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/mayoral/mayor-urges-govt-support-to-tackle-knife-crime.

Arts Council support for London Youth members

Congratulations go to our members The Midi Music Company, Studio 3 Arts, Half Moon Young People’s Theatre and Lyric Hammersmith who were all successful in the latest round of Arts Council England’s strategic funding. These organisations along with others are brilliantly demonstrating the power of community based arts and cultural experience for young people. We are delighted to see our members playing such an important role in the capital’s rich culture. London Youth is developing plans for a new arts programme for youth organisations with our members, and we will be announcing some of these very soon, so stay tuned!

Make sure you keep up to date with all of London Youth’s latest news on our Twitter @LondonYouth.

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