London mayor Ken Livingstone has unveiled a £5m ‘Young Londoners Fund’ to help city teenagers back into education or training.
The fund is part of the £79m ‘London Youth Offer’, announced in December 2007, with £73m of that sum already distributed to London’s boroughs for young people.
The fund aims to support voluntary and community groups who work with teenagers to reduce their chance of getting caught up in crime or anti-social behaviour.
Ken Livingstone said years of under investment has left thousands of young people in the capital’s poorest communities with few other options than spending time on the streets and getting involved in crime and gangs.
“We are putting in a once-in-a-generation investment to give children and teenagers in London the chance to get involved in sport, music and skills training activities and the chance to share in capital’s success,” he said.
Melvyn Davis, director of male development service BoyztoMEN said: “I hope that some of this will be used to fund more mentoring programmes and training for staff and volunteers to help prevent the next generation of young people growing up feeling that gangs and crime are viable [alternatives to] further education and employment.”