April 13, 2016 London, News

Challenging Mayoral Candidates to #InvestInYouthWork!!

RFF young people in London are working with our Patron, Rio Ferdinand, and online campaigning platform to save youth work by launching a petition to stop the Government cutting youth services

404 Not Found This last week has been pivotal for our campaign with Rio and young people from Lewisham, Lambeth and Southwark gathering at’s offices to meet with each of the London Mayoral candidates. More meetings are set for the coming weeks as the campaign continues to generate traction ahead of the May 5th Election.

With wide reaching support not only from the people of London but all across the UK as well as the press, Rio said:

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“A lot of kids feel disengaged with elections and voting because they don’t feel considered. The [mayoral] manifestos are out and there isn’t much on the front page or the bullet points to do with kids. That speaks volumes for why kids are having to do things like this. Today, with the internet and social media, they can do a petition, fire it out quick and get lots of people backing it. Loads of young people in London especially are up for this cause” 

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So far the campaign has the support of 39,975 people which is a massive achievement for our young people – we are incredibly proud of them. Amongst those supporters is the Green Party’s Sian Berry who said:

“This petition is really important and I’m very happy to support it. Cuts to youth services in London are a false economy which show how many politicians fail to think in a long term, joined up way. Youth services come in many forms which reflects the needs of young people. They can provide purpose, identity and direction when young people need it most”

Our next meeting is with Labours’ Sadiq Khan who grew up on a housing estate in south London so we’re hopeful he will be hugely supportive of the campaign. This has been a fantastic opportunity for our young people to put their leadership training into action. By talking to senior officials and tackling an issue that really matters to them they will have a positive impact on other young people too. On this Rio said:

“It is great that young people themselves are recognising the issues confronting them, from youth club closures to jobs to housing, and are campaigning to do something about it. I am proud to support their voice and their cause both personally and via my Foundation”

We will keep everyone updated with our progress as the campaign unfolds. With only 10,025 signatures needed to get to the 50k mark please share this post & direct people to the #InvestInYouthWork Campaign page.

Above photo courtesy Dan Bridge Photography. Cover photo courtesy of Daniel Hambury