As part of The Literacy Project, HarperCollins is to donate 10,000 books by authors including Michael Morpurgo, Ant Middleton and David Walliams to the Mayor’s Fund for London via its Kitchen Social programme to support families during the Covid-19 pandemic. The books will be received by 25-30 Kitchen Social hubs, currently serving over 1,700 young
A message from our new Chief Executive
For me, 2019 means a new job – probably the best job in the world – as chief executive of the Mayor’s Fund for London.
I am delighted that we have worked with so many of you over the years and I’m looking forward to delivering great things together.
The Mayor’s Fund is in an extremely privileged position. As an independent charity, sat within City Hall and with the Mayor as our patron, we have the freedom and agility to champion the changes and support the interventions which transform the life chances of young Londoners.
We can be campaigner, convener, partner and deliverer, with our work based on solid evidence of what makes the most difference to young people’s opportunities.
And sadly, our need as a charity has never been greater. In December, the Mayor’s Fund Youth Board produced a short film: ‘Are You Listening? Because We’re Talking’. If any of us were in any doubt about the level of aspiration which already exists amongst London’s young people, and the frustration that many of them feel about the world in which they are growing up, do have a look at our YouTube channel. Our boroughs can feel very different places to live on the ground.
So, how are we going to rise to the challenge? Well, our core focus as the champion of social mobility for young Londoners from low-income households will continue unabated. Our three main focus areas of young people’s wellbeing; educational attainment, particularly around core skills; and creating more accessible employability pathways will remain. But to deliver more of this, at scale, we are going to evolve our approach to ensure we can champion change at scale. This means new and exciting partnerships with corporates, the public sector and other charities; it means more focused sector-specific approaches; and it means being far clearer about the absolute ‘must do’ calls for action to London’s business community.
2019 is also our tenth anniversary year and we are going to be celebrating. The charity was set up in the midst of the financial crisis (can you believe this is now a decade ago?) and we are completing our first decade with the whirlwind of Brexit around us. It is hard to imagine a more challenging decade for young Londoners to grow up.
But to change the world – or, at least London – we need your help. During the course of the year, we will be launching a new corporate supporter scheme and we would be really interested to talk to any of you who want to explore new approaches and partnerships.
It might look like much of the world has gone mad right now. We have a real opportunity – indeed responsibility – to help young Londoners thrive regardless of the backdrop that us adults have created.
Do get in touch.
Strengthening our communities together
As you’ll know, Kitchen Social is continuing to work with local grass root community organisations to create an environment where children, young people, their families and carers can feel comfortable to play, explore new ideas, make new friends, learn and get a good balanced free meal during the holidays.
The environment is safe, and fun. It not only ensures attendees receive a balanced meal, but also offers young people the opportunity to get involved in the preparation of food and learn life skills linked to shopping and budgeting that will help them outside of the hub.
To date, we have supported 110 holiday hubs to deliver food and activities; of these 100 are still operating and delivering in 22 boroughs across London. We have engaged with a further 78 organisations who have expressed interest and 23 of these are trained. 1553 sessions have been run, in turn supporting 10,528 unique children by providing 51,617 meals.
But there is still so much more to be done, as the need on the ground outstrips our work.
To achieve our 2020 ambition of feeding a minimum of 50,000 children across all 33 London boroughs, we need to continue to raise more funds, so we can bring more community hubs on to the programme, and then train and provide vital support to these hubs.
We’ll be launching a series of new fundraising initiatives this year and look forward to sharing these with you in due course. In the meantime, if you would like to support the programme or get involved with our campaign, please get in touch.
Helping young people reach their potential
If you are looking for new volunteer opportunities and want to make a positive impact on the next generation, then apply today and offer a group of students an insight into your business and place of work.
As you know, Access Aspiration works with 30 schools across London to broaden young people’s understanding of the workplace and increase their confidence, resilience and knowledge as they consider their next steps. One such school is Brampton Manor – and you’ve no doubt heard of their recent academic success – we’re so proud of them!
We first started supporting Brampton Manor students with work experience in 2015. Yusuf is now in his second year at the University of Cambridge – read his inspiring story here.
357 work experience opportunities later, and we’d like to thank Channel 4 and ITN, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Bank of England, Twitter, Arup, Quadrant Chambers, Peel Hunt, PIMCO, Resolution Foundation, BT, and Southbank Centre for their contribution to the successes of these brilliant young people.
Count on Us Maths Challenges underway!
In early January, the Mayor’s Fund, in partnership with the Jack Petchey Foundation, ran Teacher Training sessions for the Count on Us Secondary Maths Challenge 2019 at City Hall.
Over 100 maths teachers from 80 schools across London attended the training, where they learnt all about the programme, and even had the chance to challenge each other at some of the activities! Now they’ve gone back to their schools to share the activities with their colleagues and students in maths clubs and lessons, to prepare for the first round of tournament heats in April.
The Count on Us Primary Maths Challenge is already underway in schools, with children participating in mini-tournaments in their classrooms. Is it too soon to say we can’t wait for the Finals this Summer?
Unlocking young creative talent
For many, the idea of London conjures up postcard pictures: the London Eye, Buckingham Palace. These are the depictions of the city we’re used to seeing in the media, advertising and the press.
Last month, in culmination of the Creativity Works Visual Storytelling module, fifteen young people showcased their response to a brief exploring the subject of London and what it means to them. Displayed in Protein Studios, Shoreditch, as part of A New Direction’s 10th anniversary celebrations, the exhibition was an eye-opening insight into how these budding young creatives see the city around them.
We also saw off our seventh round of Creativity Works: Multimedia Genius Training participants last month. The module started in September and included six weeks of media-related masterclasses facilitated by top-class media professionals and visits to big-brand media companies such as Sky, Snapchat and BBC. Each week followed a different media-theme: photography, digital media, journalism, TV and radio.
The 30 participants learnt the key parts of each area and got the chance to apply their new skills.
Kindly hosted by Channel 4, the graduation event gave an overview of the young people’s journeys and programme highlights. A number of them have now found paid jobs/opportunities in the media industry, and there was a return of Creativity Works alumni to provide their positive career updates.
Well done all!
If you’re interested in supporting our work, or want to find out more, we’d love to hear from you.
New Government HAF support package announced
The Government’s recent announcement outlining a significant funding package to help alleviate child food poverty in the UK is a very welcome step in the right direction. As one of the recipients of the Holiday Food and Activities grant this summer, we know just how much of a huge lifeline the extension of the scheme
London and New York youth connect in exciting virtual event
A commitment to supporting the ideas and creativity of young people is the driving force behind My City and Me – a project that gives young people a creative platform to share their experiences of the pandemic. On Wednesday, the project concluded with an exciting virtual event for our young people and like-minded young New