03 August 2020
Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, has issued a warning about the impact of COVID-19 on the capital’s community youth organisations. He notes that a new era of austerity risks sending the sector “back to square one” and leaving young Londoners without support when they need it most. He calls for an end to cuts and increased funding for young people from the Government, noting City Hall’s significant investment in providing opportunities for young people and reducing violence in recent years.
Rosemary Watt-Wyness, our Chief Executive, was quoted in the Mayor’s press release:
Community youth organisations play a crucial role in the lives of thousands of young people; building confidence and skills and nurturing trusted support and relationships. Over lockdown they have been at the heart of communities, supporting parents as well. Now, just when young people are facing huge challenges to their wellbeing and employment prospects, many youth projects face a very uncertain future. We are calling on government to turn the tide of years of cuts and invest in our youth services.”
The Mayor’s warning references the work that London Youth has done to reflect the impact of COVID-19 on our members in our report ‘Running on Reserves’:
London’s community and charities that provide services for young Londoners have been hit hard by the impact of Covid-19 and lockdown, with nearly a third reporting that they face closure within six months due to finances and struggling to cover running costs, according to new data compiled by London Youth. Nearly half (47 per cent) of those surveyed by London Youth had to furlough staff and 78 per cent are regularly working with fewer young people than they were before lockdown.”
You can read the Mayor’s full press release here.