The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and Chair of London Councils, Georgia Gould, announced yesterday (9 February) that every young Londoner in need of support will have access to a personal mentor by 2024.
This will be delivered as part of a New Deal for Young People, with City Hall, London boroughs, community groups and others across the city working in partnership to put young Londoners at the heart of the recovery from the pandemic.
The commitment is to provide access to a dedicated mentor to young Londoners who are most in need of support and who face the biggest challenges to reaching their potential. This includes children who have been excluded from school or college, those who are impacted by exploitation, young Londoners who are impacted by domestic violence or living in poverty, and those involved in the care system. Overall, there are roughly 100,000 young people in London who face these kinds of challenges.
The mayor has announced funding which will expand the mentoring offer in the capital now, helping young Londoners most in need get the help and support they deserve to reach their potential. The funding consists of £4.8 million for three programmes which will boost mentoring capacity and build on the incredible work already happening across London. It will expand mentoring for young people, including in science, technology, engineering, arts and maths, and support local organisations to provide training and work experience.
Alongside this, London’s Violence Reduction Unit, which was set up in 2019, will invest £2.4m in a three-year mentoring programme. The new investment will build the units determination to tackle school exclusions by investing in effective mentoring programmes to keep pupils in Pupil Referral Units, engaged in their education, motivated and supported to achieve their goals.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I’m determined to put young people at the heart of London’s recovery efforts and I’m proud to be delivering on my manifesto pledge to give every young Londoner in need access to a dedicated mentor by 2024.
“This will not only help prevent vulnerable young Londoners from being exploited or sucked into gangs and violence, but provide a helping hand for Londoners to reach their potential.
“Working in partnership with London Councils and boroughs, community groups, the youth sector and others across our city, I’m determined to ensure that every young Londoner in need of support has the positive opportunities and role model they deserve. This will play a critical part in helping us build a safer, fairer and more prosperous city, where no-one is left behind.”
Councillor Georgia Gould, Chair of London Councils, said: “With four in ten of London’s children living in poverty, working with trusted and inspiring adult mentors can help children and young people navigate some of the challenges that they face and go on to achieve their goals. “The commitment to provide a trusted mentor to every young Londoner in need of support is fantastic and builds upon the work that councils in London have been doing in their local communities. Today’s announcement means that even more young people will be able to benefit from the nurturing, guidance and support that a mentoring relationship can provide.”