London Mayor visits newly launched Christian youth hub

London Mayor Sadiq Khan outside the XLP Youth Hub in Stratford

The Mayor of London was the special guest at a newly launched youth hub in north-east London run by Christian charity XLP last week. 

During his visit, Sadiq Khan heard the stories of young people affected by knife crime and gangs, and how they are being supported by XLP. 

Mr Khan commended some of the youth initiatives run by the charity across London, including its specially fitted double decker buses that tour the city's estates, as well as sports ventures like caged football.

"We've learned the lesson from successful models like XLP, they've been going round to estates, not just waiting for young people to come to them," he said. 

The mayor was also impressed that youth workers at XLP include people who were once supported by the charity when they were younger.

"They've got some of their youth workers who used to be users of their facilities and that gives confidence to young people because youth workers have street cred and that's really important. So we are invested in those youth organisations that have credibility in their community," said Mr Khan. 

London Mayor Sadiq Khan with youth and volunteers at the new XLP hub in Stratford

Luke Watson, CEO of XLP, said: "We are grateful for Sadiq's support of XLP. It was also important to give young people the platform to share their experiences with him and underline the importance of youth provision in their own words.

"Everyone is aware of the problems and challenges that we face in the city. We need continued investment and
engagement from the mayor, local communities, businesses and the police to see young Londoners thrive."

XLP was founded in 1996 by Patrick Regan OBE to help young people stay in school and succeed instead of entering into the world of gangs, crime or antisocial behaviour. 

The Stratford hub has been made possible by the generosity of the Frogmore real estate group, which has donated the space to XLP for two years. 

Volunteers helped to decorate the hub, part of which was using free wallpaper given by local company Wonder Wall. 

XLP are currently looking for volunteers to help out at the Stratford youth hub.  If you are interested, visit: www.xlp.org.uk/volunteer

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