£4M to help tackle the impact of Covid-19

March 2022

Major London Funder of Children & Young People has committed an additional £4M across the sector in just one year to help tackle the impact of Covid-19 on top of its usual grant giving of C.£12M

One year ago today, grant-giving funder John Lyon’s Charity ring-fenced an additional £22million from its endowment to be spent over the next six years to help protect the Children and Young People’s (CYP) sector survive the Covid-19 crisis. This was in addition to its usual grant-giving of c.£10-12M.

Now, just one year on, the Charity can confirm that it has already committed £4million to grassroots charities across London.

A strategic plan to protect the CYP sector in the long term was created and launched in March 2021, with the core focus on Home – School – Community (HSC); the three main points of reference in any child’s life.

Dr Lynne Guyton, CEO of John Lyon’s Charity says:The Charity has spent the last thirty years contributing to the maintenance and effectiveness of a varied and vibrant CYP sector in London. Therefore, we could not sit by and watch the pandemic threaten and destroy the many vital organisations we have supported over the years. Just one year on from our HSC launch, we are already seeing the positive effects on many grassroots charities and organisations who have benefitted from this funding strategy. Our groups are starting to rebuild all that was lost during the pandemic but there is no denying that these organisations will need support for the foreseeable.

Catholic Children’s Society (CCS), a charity that supports disadvantaged children and families was awarded funding from the HSC strategy. Greg Brister, Trust & Grants Officer at CCS says:JLC’s Home-School-Community Strategy has been hugely important in helping the Catholic Children’s Society respond effectively to the devastating impact of the pandemic. JLC’s grant enabled us to significantly scale up our efforts to provide specialist support for children struggling with mental health issues. We have now launched our Connect-Ed therapy service in eight new schools, providing vital early intervention support for children who have experienced many challenges as a result of Covid-19 (including isolation, bereavement and family breakdown). This work has had a profound impact, helping vulnerable children develop greater resilience and putting them in a much stronger position to engage with school life and achieve their full potential. We are very grateful to John Lyon’s Charity for their fast response and ongoing support.

British chamber orchestra, Aurora Orchestra, is another vital organisation that has benefitted from HSC’s funding. Helen McKeown from Aurora Orchestra says:Before the pandemic, Aurora Orchestra ran a series of immersive storytelling concerts for Camden primary school children at Kings Place, and visited two special schools in Westminster with adapted, child-led, versions of the performances. These activities became impossible during the national lockdown. This funding has helped us to deepen the impact of the live shows and resources further than ever before.Following the disruption of lockdown to all aspects of children’s education, there has never been a more important time for this programme, which has enabled children to imagine, create and play through music over an extended period.

Lydia Gandaa, art teacher at Old Oak Primary School says:The opportunities the children from Old Oak have gained from the school having access to JLC’s Cultural Capital Fund within HSC are countless. Being able to partner with such a well-known arts institution such as the Saatchi Gallery would have been largely unachievable if Old Oak had not been part of this important project. This project allowed for our students to really build their cultural capital particularly following the pandemic as they are not often exposed to experiences such as this on a day to day basis. We are grateful that after such a difficult period, this type of funding from John Lyon’s Charity was made available

Now with £4M already committed one year on, John Lyon’s Charity is on track to continue its support of the CYP sector with the end goal that it fully survives the impact of the pandemic.

Greenford High School E-Safety

Greenford High School logo

Greenford High School introduced an inclusive E-Safety Programme for high schools across Ealing to address the significant gap in e-safety provision. Mubina Asaria, VLE manager at Greenford High, has implemented an extensive training and development programme in line with Ofsted and Ealing Safeguarding Children Board (ESCB) recommendations. Here, Mubina will describe some of the challenges schools face in the area of E-safety, and explain how they might be tackled. We welcome your comments and feedback.

Design Museum – The Young Creatives Programme

Komal Khetia

Komal Khetia

Komal Khetia is the Programme Producer for Young Audiences for the Design Museum and is leading on its Young Creatives programme. The programme will offer young people opportunities to work with designers on a range of creative projects. This blog will be a platform to hear from various designers and young people participating in the programme, and for Komal to reflect on its successes. We welcome your comments and feedback.

Blog Introduction

Beth Williams

Beth Williams

Beth Williams is the new Quality and Membership Officer at London Youth. As part of her role she meets all kinds of youth organisations that are working on London Youth’s Quality Assessment Framework. John Lyon’s Charity is supporting London Youth to extend this Quality Mark to youth clubs throughout our beneficial area. Here, Beth will detail her journey working with these youth clubs and the progress they are making in gaining these Quality Marks. We would welcome your comments and feedback.

Hello from the Design Museum!

I’m Komal Khetia, Programme Producer for Young Audiences at the Design Museum. Over the next three years, I will be developing a new strand of activity for young people aged 14-19 years called the ‘Design Museum Young Creatives’ programme. It will be a place for young people to take part in creative workshops, explore their interests in design and to connect with the Design Museum as it makes its move to the new home in Kensington in 2016.

The Young Creatives programme will offer young people the opportunity to work with designers and each other through a regular programme of meetings and creative projects. It will put young people’s interests at the heart of the activities, providing thought provoking workshops that instigate a change in creative thinking and approach to design, and the designed world around us. It will inspire young people to look afresh at the world around them, to develop skills, gain an insight in to the creative industry and to explore their creative ambitions.

In late 2016, the Design Museum will relocate to the former Commonwealth Institute, three times the size of its present building. This will provide the scale the museum needs to shape the future of design and architecture, connect with a wider audience and nurture the next generation of creative talent. The museum will showcase designers, providing an internationally visible platform and acting as a career catalyst. The Young Creatives programme will continue once the museum opens in Holland Park. It will aim to reach and work with participants in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham and Westminster. The participants will also have the opportunity to have their achievements recognized through the national Bronze Arts Awards.

Through this blog, we will chart our journey and hear from various designers and young people participating in this programme. You’ll meet us along the way as we document the programme launch event and local taster sessions this autumn, and commencement of the regular Young Creatives programme in January 2016.

I’d love for you, the local community and its young people to join us and to say hello on Sunday, 27 September 2015 at the Tabernacle Theatre. At the event, you’re welcomed to take part in our drop-in creative workshops with designers, meet the Design Museum team and be able to find out more about the Young Creatives programme coming to your area!

I look forward to meeting you all!

E-Safety Project

Blog by Mubina Asaria

Welcome to my first post! Two years into our e-safety project for Ealing and so much is happening, where do I start? We all know that the digital world our children are growing up in today is unchartered territory – the unregulated nature of the internet, compounded with a rapid growth in new technologies and online activity, bring with it inconceivable risks one could never have imagined.

Whilst the opportunities afforded by technology are abundant and life-changing, from innovative learning experiences to promoting social inclusion, as with every innovation, each opportunity brings with it the potential for abuse; today cyberbullying, online grooming and sexual exploitation are serious child protection issues facing communities everywhere. Let’s be clear – the issue is NOT about the technology, but the emanating and unconventional social behaviours that are fast becoming the norm, with research suggesting that the anonymity afforded by technology encourages riskier behaviour online. While young people may appear savvier when it comes to using the latest gadgets, it is evident that they can lack the maturity to manage risk, or foresee associated consequences.

With this in mind, our journey began when I piloted a multifaceted e-safety programme at Greenford High. By adopting a social, educational and holistic approach, the purpose was to bring about a cultural shift to promote positive behaviour online and safeguard young people from risk. Thanks to John Lyon’s Charity, we have been able to develop and expand our model, working across agencies to share expertise with high schools, primary schools, Ealing Police, voluntary organisations supporting young people and the local authority. Two years on and the feedback is incredibly positive, bringing with it a real buzz of excitement and innovation.

STOP PRESS: E-Safety Mark Awarded
We are delighted to have just been awarded the 360 Safe E-Safety Mark for the quality of work we do in this challenging area. The work the school undertakes has just gone through a rigorous assessment by Mark Baker, on behalf of the South West Grid for Learning. We came through with flying colours and were praised for the “depth… embedded nature… coherence of our plans and strong culture” that has been created. In particular, the work of our CyberMentors, students supporting students, was strongly recognised.

Over the few next posts, I will be taking you through some key areas of the project that have made an impact, sharing with you the successes and challenges we encountered along the way. Topics will range from implementing and embedding an effective CyberMentor programme to tackle cyberbullying in schools, to top tips on auditing e-safety within your organisation, organising a conference to share best practice, engaging with parents and the wider community, and addressing training for staff and governors. Do feel free to post your questions or suggest any specific areas you’d like me to cover – I look forward to your comments!

First Blog Entry

I’m only three months into my role as London Youth’s Quality and Membership Officer.  Already I’ve had the privilege of helping a number of varied youth projects to start the journey of evaluating their organisation’s strengths and weaknesses through the London Youth Quality Mark.  Many have commented to me that it’s been an excellent way of holding a mirror up to themselves and seeing which areas have been neglected.  Someone told me recently that their whole staff team were convinced they had a complaints policy but it wasn’t until they had to submit it as evidence that they realised it had never formally been written down!

Yet a large number of clubs tell me that working their way through the bronze, silver and gold levels has reassured that that actually, most things are in place.  They feel encouraged to know that their work is already where it should be, so getting that formally recognised has been valuable.

The opportunity to both celebrate with youth workers in their strengths, and support them as they work to make their organisation stronger has been one of the most enjoyable aspects of my new role.  If you are interested in doing the Quality Mark we hold regular meetings for new clubs that run through the levels and give you an opportunity to ask questions.  Please do call me on 0207 549 2965 or email [email protected] for more information.

Let’s give you some background.  The London Youth Quality Mark supports clubs to improve delivery and organisational effectiveness, and to achieve long lasting improvements to their practice, management and the way they engage young people. It comes with face-to-face support from London Youth, involves young people in the assessment, and is the only quality assurance scheme for youth clubs accredited by City & Guilds.

It provides clubs with a badge of excellence that they can show to local authorities, funders and young people to prove they are doing the most they can to transform lives.

So who are London Youth?  We support a network of 400 diverse community organisations where young people choose to go. Our mission is to support and challenge young people to become the best they can be. We grew from the Ragged Schools Movement in the 1880s and our network of members has developed over more than 130 years, since a group of visionary leaders established the Girls’ Club Union and the Federation of London Working Boys’ Clubs and Institutes.

We deliver programmes with and through our network in every London borough and out of town at our two residential learning centres, Hindleap Warren and Woodrow High House. We work with all young people but place a particular emphasis on those who wouldn’t otherwise have access to the kind of opportunities we offer.

We deliver our mission through four strategic objectives:

  1. Developing, training, connecting and quality assuring our membership network to deliver good youth work
  2. Creating a broad and inclusive range of opportunities for young people (with and through our members) that improve their all‐round confidence, character and skills
  3. Ensuring our expertise and the on-the‐ground voices of youth workers and young people influence public policy, practice and opinion
  4. Being the best we can be ourselves; financially robust and a great place to work

More info available here: