27 June 2019
Welcome to this month’s update on the policy context for London Youth members. You can find previous policy updates here.
Our policy & media work
This week, I was asked to submit evidence to a Parliamentary select committee. The Women & Equalities Committee has been conducting an inquiry into the mental health of young men and boys and we were invited to attend a committee meeting and answer MPs’ questions, based on our written submission to the committee’s inquiry.
Our response was hugely strengthened by the expertise of three members – Khulisa, St Michael & All Angels Steel Orchestra, and Young Ealing Foundation – who contributed their evidence and co-signed it.
This was a first for London Youth and an excellent opportunity for us to make our case for a strong and sustainable youth sector in London and positive opportunities for young people directly to politicians. Speaking directly to the committee, we were able to clearly articulate what we hear from our members and from young people: young Londoners are struggling to get the mental health support that they need and that community youth organisations are an under-utilised and under-supported resource in broadening support for young people’s mental health and wellbeing.
You can read more about the session here or watch the evidence session below.
As part of our continued work to support reducing violence in London, our Chief Executive Rosemary Watt-Wyness met with Deputy Mayor for Policing & Crime Sophie Linden this month. They discussed how London Youth and our 450+ members could work together with City Hall to deliver a city that is safe for its young people. We will continue to engage with City Hall, the Mayor’s Office for Policing & Crime (MOPAC), and the London Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) over this critical issue. One of the key ways in which we do this is through MOPAC’s Safer Children and Young People Board, on which we have a seat and next meets in July.
If you’d like to be more involved with our work to reduce violence look out for our Tackling Youth Violence Network, which will next meet on the 12th of August on International Youth Day.
Politics & policy
The last year has not been a steady one for central government and long term policy making has suffered. There are a number of large unresolved questions hanging over the youth sector, from the role of government in youth provision, to the funding of local government. Having been disappointed by last August’s Civil Society Strategy, we have been pushing for this year’s Spending Review to answer some of those fundamental questions, particularly around the funding of youth work in this country. With the prospect of a new Prime Minister, we are in a position of having to start that work again. Young people’s issues have not featured prominently in the Conservative leadership race, but we want whoever is Prime Minister to hear the voices of young Londoners and the almost 500 community youth organisations doing amazing work with them in London.
- Safer Scotland published 10 years of No Knives, Better Lives.
- NCVO published the UK Civil Society Almanac 2019.
- IPPR published Prosperity and Justice: A Plan for the New Economy.
- NPC published My Best Life: Priorities for digital technology in the youth sector.
- Stop and search has increased by up to five times since the Home Office.
- The NHS has appointed Royal London Hospital surgeon Martin Griffiths as its first Clinical Director for Violence Reduction as a commitment to a public health approach.
Get in touch
Our Policy Advisory Group is the best way for our members to be at the heart of the policy and media work that we do to represent you and the youth sector in London. Please consider joining this email group so we can get in touch about opportunities to engage on specific issues.
Please feel free to get in touch with any questions or to get involved in our upcoming policy work.