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YMCA North London calls on Mayoral candidates to put young people first in Manifesto for May’s election

23rd March 2016

Young people from YMCA North 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 North London has been operating in Haringey for the past 87 years. It supports 154 young people in a range of service areas, including Accommodation, Support & Advise, Health & Wellbeing and Training & Education.

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.

Tim Fallon, Chief Executive of YMCA North London, said: “London is one of the greatest cities in the world but our 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.”

YMCAs in London are part of the wider YMCA National Council in England and Wales that covers more than 530 communities and supports more than 228,000 young people.

YMCA is the largest provider of supported accommodation for vulnerable young people in London with 2,000 beds. YMCAs across London also provide training and education services to 50,000 people every year and 71,000 people attend our gyms annually.

For more information on the YMCA in London Manifesto, visit www.ymca.org.uk/london-manifesto

Show your support on Twitter using the hashtag #YMCAinLondon


For more information or to request an interview with a YMCA representative, please contact Andrew Mortimer, Communications Manager, at andrew.mortimer@england.ymca.org.uk or call 020 7186 9543.

Notes to editors​

  • YMCA provides 2,000 bed spaces every night in the capital, making it the largest voluntary sector provider of accommodation to homeless young people in London.
  • London YMCAs provide training and education services to 50,000 people every year
  • YMCA is the largest voluntary sector provider of health and wellbeing services in London with 71,000 people attending one of our gyms annually.
  • Across the eight London YMCAs, we provide 2,600 childcare places and 27,000 before or after school services for children and young people.
  • More than 3,000 young people attend London YMCA’s youth clubs while we also provide support to more than 600 young people in need of drug or counselling services.