London YMCAs Manifesto on Putting Young People First

23rd March 2016

YMCA East London is calling on Mayoral candidates to put young people first in Manifesto for May’s election.Today young people from across London are calling on the next Mayor of London to combat low wages, rising levels of rough sleepers and a lack of housing caused by wasted brownfield land in the first ever YMCA in London Manifesto. 

The young people all fed into detailed document over the past 12 months, produced by the eight YMCAs that cover London. In total, it lists 24 recommendations that YMCA clients say matter most to them to improve the lives of 16 to 24-year-olds in the capital.

With elections less than two months away, this call out for support is perfectly timed to engage the Mayoral candidates in debate.

YMCA East London has been operating across NE London for over 40 years and it provides a home a support to 300 young people each day. In addition, it provides a range of other services that benefit over 1,000 young people each year, including training, health and wellbeing, support and advice and youth activities.

Major recommendations from the YMCA in London Manifesto include:

  • Utilise previously occupied business spaces and redevelop them into suitable low-cost accommodation
  • Invest in the development of alternative models of accommodation and provide opportunities for land to be used to deploy such models, such as Y:Cube housing
  • Pay the London Living Wage to all young people aged under 25-years-old who work within GLA services or on GLA-funded contracts
  • Invest in alternative models of supporting young people who are homeless, such as supported lodgings and Housing First
  • Provide mental health training to Met Police Officers in order to help them to identify and treat people in an appropriate way, who they suspect to have mental health conditions.

For full details of manifesto click here

Robin Smith, Chief Executive of YMCA East London said: “London is one of the greatest cities in the world but the YMCA Manifesto shows that young people are finding it more difficult than ever to flourish here.

“Rising costs of accommodation combined with an inequality in wages and lower levels of physical health all mean that vulnerable young people are worse off than almost all other age groups.

“The next London Mayor will have the difficult task of overcoming this issue and preventing the capital from losing a generation of young people struggling to contribute and move into mainstream society.”