Mayoral candidates told to improve children’s lives

The next mayor of London must prioritise improving the lives of children and young people in the capital, leading charities have told the mayoral candidates.

A coalition of charities, including Barnardo’s, the National Council of Voluntary Child Care Organisations and the NSPCC, has written to the candidates urging them to commit to working with the voluntary sector to tackle child poverty, improve child safety and help young unemployed people.

NCVCCO London regional group chair Delroy Pomell said: “While London is one of the most prosperous, diverse and exciting cities in the world, too many children and young people continue to be affected by poverty, overcrowded housing, poor health and crime.”

The charities said that 41% of young Londoners – more than 650,000 – live in poverty. Of these, children with disabled parents, from ethnic minority communities and those in social housing are most affected.

They also highlighted the fact that a London child aged 10-17 reports being the victim of crime to the police every eight minutes, and that 11% of young people in the capital are unemployed.

The charities work with many of the most vulnerable of the 1.7 million children in London and have called on the next mayor to work “in partnership with the voluntary and community sector to identify the needs of children and young people in the capital and to provide solutions”.

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