Sport for Development organisations have joined forces to help form the Mayor of London’s new Sport and Serious Youth Violence Steering Group.
The group consists of representatives from 20 organisations that the Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has previously funded through his Young Londoners Fund Sport Unites programme.
These include Fight for Peace, Football Beyond Borders, School of Hard Knocks, Snow-Camp, StreetGames, The Change Foundation, Chance to Shine and Ebony Horse Club, as well as Charlton Athletic Community Trust, QPR in the Community Trust, Arsenal FC and Crystal Palace FC.
Each of the organisations has also selected a young person involved in their prevention programme to join the group. The young people will play a key role in co-ordinating the work of the group and sharing their own insight of being at risk of getting involved in crime.
The steering group will bring together London community sports experts to help identify causes, share best practice, and propose solutions to serious youth violence. It will be chaired by Debbie Weekes-Bernard, Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement.
Navjeet Sira, Director of Design and Impact at The Change Foundation, said: “At The Change Foundation we are always actively looking for solutions through sport to support young people with the complex challenges they face every day. We are looking forward to being part of this dynamic steering group that is consulting with a truly diverse group of activists and young people, but also funding important projects, even those testing innovative ideas through sport. This combination shows a real dedication to tackling serious violence since one cannot happen without the other.”
Jenny Oklikah, UK Director for Fight for Peace, said: "Fight for Peace supports young people to realise their potential through the use of sport, personal development, education, employment and youth leadership. We welcome the Mayor of London's new steering group on Sport and Serious Youth Violence and look forward to seeing meaningful participation of young people in the design and evaluation of policy and initiatives."
James Gregory, London Director for StreetGames, said: “StreetGames are pleased to be part of the GLA’s new Sport and Serious Youth Violence Steering Group for London. Working in partnership is critical to ensuring that the right organisations can deliver the right sports interventions in the communities where they are needed most to help young people navigate through the so-called danger years of 14 to 25. Together we can help young people and their communities to be healthier, safer and more successful.”
The Mayor has also announced that more than £1m of funding will be made available to sports groups supporting young Londoners at risk of exclusion or getting involved in violence through his Impact Partnerships Fund.
He said: “I have seen first-hand the unique power of sport to engage young people and help them to turn their lives around.
“The organisations that I have brought together today are already making a huge difference to the lives of thousands of young people in our city, which is why I am providing a further £1.1million of funding to help even more sports projects provide positive, meaningful activities to help young people make the right choices in life."
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