Young girl looking up in the sky

Working together for young Londoners for 135 years

We are London Youth, a charity on a mission to improve the lives of young people in London, challenging them to become the best they can. Young people need opportunities outside school to have fun with their friends, to learn new skills, to make a positive change in their communities and to shape the city they live in.

Last year we worked with 28,106 young people through our sports development, employability, youth action and involvement, arts and outdoor education programmes. Our member network supported 601,770 young Londoners. Together, we give young people access to opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have.

Throughout our history, community youth organisations have provided a constant lifeline and a vital safe space outside the family and formal education, where young people can develop confidence, resilience and skills.

Our vision is that all young Londoners grow up healthy, able to express themselves, navigate a fulfilling career and make a positive contribution in their communities.

Our mission is to support and challenge young people to become the best they can be; developing their confidence, resilience and relationship skills.

We do this with, and through, our network of community youth organisations and at our two residential centres. We look to work with all young people, focusing particularly on those who wouldn’t otherwise have access to the kind of opportunities we offer.

Because good youth work works.

London Youth was founded in 1887 because the individual youth organisations of the day knew that they were stronger and could achieve more for young people by working together. Since then, much has changed for young Londoners, but the need to work together is more pressing than ever.

Since 1887, we have worked with our members to offer young people a wide range of high quality opportunities for learning and fun and to build strong trusted relationships with adults and their peers.

We grew from the Ragged Schools movement of the 19th century, inspired by the simple idea that every young person, irrespective of background and circumstance, has something to gain from somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to.

We spent the twentieth century as two separate charities, The Federation of Boys’ Clubs and The Union of Youth Clubs, which worked primarily with girls. In 1999 the charities merged to create The Federation of London Youth Clubs. That’s still our legal name, though we prefer London Youth.

We’re proud of our history, helping young people become the best they can be for 135 years.

With local authority funding hugely reduced and activities for young people being lost, it is more important than ever to ensure youth provision remains available for young people in their communities. London Youth continues to provide a united voice and support for community youth organisations and youth workers across the capital.