Sadiq Khan announces £5m project to get youngsters doing sport, art and dance to reduce violence

This summer’s free activities can be accessed through the Local Village Network (LVN) app, which offers young people aged 14 to 24 more than 2,500 activities including sports, dance and creative workshops.

Young Londoners will be encouraged to take up sports, theatre, art and dance this summer in a bid to reduce youth violence.

The mayor of London’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) is investing £5million to help support all 32 boroughs in delivering prevention and early intervention programmes.

Sadiq Khan visits Edmonton Eagles Amateur Boxing Club

This includes £4.5m of investment through the London Crime Prevention Fund for councils to fund local violence reduction initiatives, including mentoring and youth work services, sports activities and reducing reoffending programmes and aims to support 15,000 young people.

The VRU is investing £500,000 to provide further additional support to boroughs through targeted youth work and mediation or community events that are designed to reduce incidents from happening in local neighbourhoods.

A further £1m will be invested in a new sports programme to deliver a range of activities for young Londoners in areas with traditionally low engagement rates and neighbourhoods affected by violence.

This summer’s free activities can be accessed through the Local Village Network (LVN) app, which offers young people aged 14-24 more than 2,500 activities including sports, dance and creative workshops.

Beni Mondua, 21, is a member of Edmonton Eagles Amateur Boxing Club

Speaking at Edmonton Eagles Amateur Boxing Club, Mr Khan said: “It’s really important to invest in young people, we’ve seen over the last 12 years massive cuts in the facilities available to young people with government cuts leading to youth centres closing down, a lack of after school clubs, a lack of facilities at the weekend and in the summer holidays.

“We also know that unfortunately during the summer holidays, with the cost of living crisis, temperatures going up, youth violence can go up.

“What we’ve announced from City Hall is £5million worth of investment, for young people to enjoy 2,500 free activities.

“I’m encouraging young people and their parents to download the Local Village Network app to find activities near you.”

Lib Peck, director of London’s Violence Reduction Unit, said: “Our approach to tackling violence in London is rooted in prevention and early intervention.

“We know the challenges that the summer brings when traditionally we’ve seen increases in violence.

“That’s why it’s absolutely crucial we work in partnership with councils and others across the capital to deliver a programme of activities and opportunities for young Londoners.

“We’re not only providing councils with investment to deliver prevention programmes throughout the summer, but also a pot of funding they can access when it’s clear targeted action such as youth work may help in preventing violence.

“We also know that sport has the power to unite people and communities.

“We’re investing in a sports programme that will deliver football, boxing, hockey, netball and other activities through the summer and beyond because we believe violence is preventable, not inevitable.”