Save London Lives

Published on 24/01/2023

A “crucial” project tackling gang violence has reached 64,000 young people at risk of falling into a life of crime thanks to £600,000 donation from L&Q.

The Save London Lives initiative, which the Evening Standard backed, gave grassroots organisations £2m to tackle the causes of gun and knife crime.

The L&Q Foundation was the largest single donor to the project, which was also supported by the Home Office.

The campaign supported 57 organisations across London to steer at-risk youngsters away from crime.

The projects included anti-knife crime workshops in schools, family support and trauma training for youth centre staff.

An independent evaluation report has now revealed that a staggering 64,000 young people have benefited from the initiative.

The report found that 88% of the organisations involved said the programme had helped participants develop their emotional intelligence and behaviour skills and enhance their safety.

And the effects will continue to be felt after the project's completion, as 89% of the organisations said that they had developed their skills and capacity to support young people as a result of the funding.

Salaam Peace, which uses sport, media and education to improve the lives of young people that live in areas with high levels of crime, antisocial behaviour, and deprivation, was one of the beneficiaries.

Azi Mohammed, Salaam Peace's Deputy Chief Executive Officer, said:

“The Save London Lives project funding was crucial in ensuring we could deliver high-impact sports sessions and social education workshops for disadvantaged young people across East London."

"Through this project, local, disadvantaged young people were able to engage in positive activities that helped them develop crucial life skills, enhance their wellbeing and stay away from negative influences. I am incredibly proud to say that a number of project participants are now active volunteers for our organisation, making their very own communities better places.”

Another organisation reported an 80% non-reoffending rate among young people who took part and a 48% reduction in youth ASB and violence on a key estate they worked intensively on.

The campaign, run by the London Community Foundation and supported by the Evening Standard’s Dispossessed Fund, which contributed £50,000, started in 2018 with the ambition of steering young people away from violence and crime.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has praised the initiative.

A spokesperson said:

“The Mayor applauds the work of the Save London Lives campaign over recent years and would like to thank all the individuals and organisations who donated to the fund. It has contributed to our wider efforts to bring community organisations together in our city to prevent violence.”

Matt Corbett, Director of the L&Q Foundation, said:

“Gang crime is a tragic epidemic that has taken young lives and devastated families over many years."

“We have been proud to support the Save London Lives fund to carry out this valuable work. Moving forwards, we will continue to support organisations tackling youth violence through our Place Makers Fund.”

Organisations can apply for funding by visiting The Place Makers Fund page.