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Mayor's Fund For London
13 Dec 2018

Representatives from youth organisations, local authorities and charities joined us at City Hall earlier this week for the premiere of a short film about youth voice and to hear about what matters to young people in London.

  • London has a growing youth population with 1 in 4 now aged 18 or under [1]
  • 71% of young Londoners want to make a positive contribution [2]
  • Yet only 23% of them feel they can influence decisions in their local area [3]

Add to this, the uncertainty of Brexit and the vast cuts to youth funding (cut by 44% across London in the last 7 years [4]), there is a greater need for youth representation now than ever before.

Created in partnership with the Youth Boards for Transport for London and Royal Society of Blind Children, the film explores young people’s hopes and fears for their future in this city. The screening was followed by a passionate panel discussion with a group of young people – Brexit, knife crime, disability, lack of opportunities and fears for the future were just some of the key topics mentioned.

“WE INTEND FOR OUR VOICES TO REACH THE DEEPEST DEPTHS OF LONDON.”

Delivering an equally inspiring and motivational keynote speech was Reggie Nelson – the young person who rose to fame by knocking on doors in Kensington in search of career advice and ultimately landing himself a job in the City.

“IF YOU WANT TO SEE A DIFFERENT SET OF RESULTS, YOU NEED TO STEP OUTSIDE OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE.”

 

The event culminated in a call to action for guests to make a ‘pledge’ to be part of amplifying and championing youth voice; and we’ll be looking at ways in which to incorporate some of these ideas into our work over the coming months.

Kim Chaplain, Director of Charitable Portfolio, Mayor’s Fund for London said: “It’s more important than ever that we listen to our young people and we’re incredibly proud of what the Youth Board have achieved so far. The film is a great example of what can happen when we give young people the platform and the space they deserve to share their thoughts, concerns and hopes for the future.”

It’s obvious to us that young people need to be heard, validated and valued – we are listening.

To quote some of what we heard at this event, us ‘adults’ need to:

  • Be active in improving outcomes for young people;
  • Speak to people and break down the barriers;
  • Invest in Youth Board’s and its diversity;
  • Realise that small changes in our organisations can make a big difference.

 

[1] London Youth
[2] 2017 survey conducted by London Youth of 1,000 young people in London
[3] The Government’s Community Life Survey 2016-2017
[4] Sian Berry AM (2018) London’s Lost Youth Services 2018

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