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30 November 2018

This week we launched our new campaign, Champion London Youth. This is our first high profile collaboration to raise awareness of the power of good youth work that’s happening every day across our member network of over 400 community youth organisations working across the capital.

We’ve joined forces with Champion to challenge negative youth stereotypes and give a voice to some of the 27,000 young people we worked with last year.

It’s really tough to be a young Londoner right now. The young people we work with tell us how damaging negative labels and stereotypes are, as all too easily an entire generation is demonised. Young people have been consigned to media headlines about violence, with the hundreds of positive stories we hear through our work, of young people contributing to their local communities and getting active on social issues, while also overcoming significant challenges at a pivotal time in their lives, ignored. Through the campaign we’re challenging this.

Our campaign comes to life through a limited edition of T-shirts, ‘LABELS’, a collection inspired by the personal stories of five young Londoners and designed by the graphic designer, Tim Head. All profits from sales come back to London Youth and straight into providing more sports, arts, social action, employability and outdoor learning opportunities for young people. What’s not to love? So please show your support: Buy the T. Not the Stereotype.

The collection is helping us galvanise public support for reinvestment in youth organisations in London and across the UK. Austerity cuts continue to impede the youth sector’s ability to support our growing youth population (1 in 4 Londoners are now aged 18 or under). Every year at least £39m has been lost from local authority youth service budgets since 2011/12. We are failing to support those young people who need us the most.

London Youth believes every young person deserves a place to be safe, have fun, learn and get the support they need. Our recent research ‘A Space of Our Own’ brings to life how local youth organisations bring our communities together and ensure all young people are given the support they need. Please do register your support for youth services here and help us make some noise!

The end result with this campaign is so much more than we’d imagined could be delivered – but it didn’t come easy:

  • To get it right took a significant investment of time, resilience and determination to overcome the many challenges along the way (just like good youth work)

  • It took a collaboration with trusted partners in Champion, The Corner and Urban Outfitters who understood what we needed to achieve, gave us solid advice that we didn’t always want to hear and saw us through with commitment and dedication (just like good youth work)

  • But most importantly it took Subira, Jhonattan, Danielle, Will, Alda and Tim. These young people from our membership seized this creative opportunity, put themselves out there (on a retail label even) and by telling their stories they proved their labels to be well and truly wrong.


– Gill Goodby, Head of Communications @ggoodby1

Show your support for youth work by signing our email to Mims Davies MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Sport and Civil Society.

Find out more about our campaign.

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