As the summer holidays kick off this week, over 27,500 children at risk of food insecurity and isolation are set to access free meals and holiday activities via our Kitchen Social programme. Launched in 2017, Kitchen Social was originally intended as a three-year programme. However, the combined impact of Covid-19 on low-income families, Brexit on
Our new ambition: supporting 100,000 Young Futures by 2023
Covid-19 is the challenge of a lifetime. We need radical action to reverse inequality and ensure all children and young people are able to thrive and fulfil their potential. That is why we are today launching our new ambition: to transform the life chances of 100,000 young Londoners by 2023. Join us.
Right now, 28% of Londoners live in poverty compared with 22% across the country. Youth unemployment in London is now the highest in the UK. We must step up our ambition to match the growing needs of our capital. We welcome the Government’s levelling up agenda to help address regional inequalities. But, as this work excludes London, we are concerned young Londoners, especially those marginalised communities, will be left behind.
We launched our One City, Two Worlds report just before lockdown hit. We urged policy-makers, funders, and business not to pit London against other areas. Instead, we highlighted that a focus on regional statistics masks a far more nuanced picture, where many young people in London are not able to access the life chances they deserve. This message is now even more important. The future of hundreds of thousands young people hangs in the balance. Something must be done, and quickly.
In the next two years, we will expand our partnerships, grow our data, deliver new campaigns and co-design a range of new programmes to support young Londoners. Activities to include:
- Build leadership skills. Young people are core to who we are and what we do. We need their input and skills in how we shape, deliver and evaluate our work.
- Improve wellbeing. As London’s largest holiday provision provider, we continue to address the issues of food insecurity and social exclusion through our Kitchen Social programme and further grow its current network of 170 local community organisations.
- Strengthen numeracy skills. Our numeracy programme, Count on Us, works with schools predominantly in areas of high deprivation to help children build confidence in and enjoyment of maths. Through inter-school maths competitions, we will support thousands of pupils across primary and secondary schools in London.
- Improve transition into work. Our employability programmes, Access Aspiration and Creativity Works, we offer a wide and growing range of exciting employer partnerships. The number of leading businesses signed up to our Diversity Pledge also continues to grow, supporting young Londoners from minority ethnic backgrounds to access great jobs.
Kirsty McHugh, CEO, said: “Even before the pandemic hit, young people from low income backgrounds faced an uneven playing field. Now, in the wake of Covid-19, even more young people are at serious risk of food insecurity, youth unemployment and educational disadvantage. Since our inception, we’ve been on a mission to right these wrongs and now is not the time to take our foot off the gas. That’s why we are setting ourselves the ambitious target of supporting 100,000 young Londoners by 2023. Please join us in this mission and help to change the lives of a generation for the better.”
Elyas Shahrestani, young Londoner and intern at the Mayor’s Fund for London, said: “Very high numbers of young Londoners are not given the chance to realise their bright futures; they live in uncertainty, do not have a clear career pathway or struggle in their life generally. Every one of them deserves to have an equal chance, to make use of their talents and to be appreciated. I am so pleased that the Mayor’s Fund for London is taking responsibility and helping young people to shine through their commitment to supporting 100,000 youngsters by 2023. This will help so many young people to take back control of their futures and remove some of the pressures we face in our everyday lives; it gives us hope and encourages us to not give up and accept help at the right time. Thank you to Mayor’s Fund for London for helping young Londoners like me to reach our maximum potential.”
As an independent charity, we rely on donations to sustain our work and continue to grow. That’s why we desperately need all the help we can get to change lives. Please consider making a donation to our 100,000 Young Futures appeal today and be a part of the movement to improve London for the better.
If you or your business is interested in supporting our ambition, we would love to hear from you. Please get in touch with Sietske van der Ploeg, Director of Strategy and Campaigns, on email@example.com to find out more and how you can help.
Celebrating our Access Aspiration Student Ambassadors
Last week, we held a special virtual celebration event for our Access Aspiration Student Ambassadors to thank them for all their hard work over the past academic year. But who are our Student Ambassadors? But who are our Student Ambassadors? They are a passionate group of young people currently participating in the programme and who
Young mathmaticians compete in pan-London maths tournament
Last week, Years 4 and 5 pupils and Years 7, 8 and 9 students came together in person to compete in socially distanced Finals for the 2021 Count on Us Challenge. After spending the last academic year practicing with teammates and against peers in a series of online heats, the finalist teams were excited to