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Young people present on a stage

15 July 2020

HeadStart Action is a personal and social development programme for young people aged 14-18, who are at risk of becoming not in education, employment or training (NEET). HeadStart Action bridges the link between social action and employability, to engage and inspire young people, giving them the skills, experience and connections they need to get ahead in the world of work.

Throughout 2020-2021, London Youth will be supporting ten grassroots community youth organisations to deliver HeadStart Action in partnership with the Mayor of London and the Mayor’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU).

HeadStart Action builds on the success of HeadStart, a programme created by The Challenge in partnership with Team London and leading businesses, which enables young people to deliver social action projects to support their community, build experiences and skills that employers are looking for. HeadStart Action is now expanding further as part of the second round of The Mayor’s Young Londoners Fund (YLF) and the VRU to provide capacity building support to ten grassroots community youth organisations.

Following the success of the HeadStart Action pilots delivered by The Challenge, London Youth has been fortunate to secure the programme for another year of delivery.

We are pleased to announce that this partnership between London Youth, the Mayor of London and the VRU will support the following youth organisations to capacity build and deliver the HeadStart Action model, supporting 300 young people across eight London boroughs:

Background to HeadStart Action

HeadStart Action, supported by the Mayor of London, was developed by The Challenge, in partnership with Team London. Building on the success of the model, HeadStart Action was piloted in Southwark during 2018 and in partnership with The Challenge, the Mayor of London and Lendlease. To date 100% of young people who took part in the pilot have remained in education.

[Since taking part in the programme] ‘Students have worked together more as a cohesive whole. They are more confident in trying new things and they have dearly valued the programme. For some individuals, this programme has completely transformed them and they are now successful in their GCSEs.’ – Joe Lane – Teacher, Harris Academy Peckham

Following the pilot, as part of the first round of the Mayor’s Young Londoners Fund (YLF), HeadStart Action expanded to four additional boroughs and has supported over 400 young people to complete the programme.

‘I have a changed view on a lot of things. I can work with other people, and I am finding new things out about myself. I can listen and understand people more. I feel that I have opened up’ – HeadStart Action (Round 1) graduate, The City of London Academy.’


Find out more about our HeadStart Action programme here.

For more information email teean.smith-robinson@londonyouth.org