Community

The communities that London's young people live in, and are supported by, face a distinct set of challenges. How can culture address these?

London context

Your social group defines your cultural participation. 40% of young people from wealthier social grades visit museums and galleries in their free time, compared to 27% from less well off ones(xi).

Over 300 different first languages are spoken by London's young people. English is the first language of only 60%(xii). Research has shown practical, cognitive and emotional benefits from multilingualism(xiii).

London's social care budgets face a funding gap of £900m by 2018(xiv). The cost of caring for London's ageing population is taking a rising proportion of council budgets.

One third of young Londoners do not feel safe in London(xv). Knife crime is the biggest fear for four out of ten young people in Inner London.

Public spaces are important for young people looking to socialise or play. The design or management of these spaces is important in helping them feel they belong(xvi).

Pupils who were eligible for Free School Meals (FSM) were almost twice as likely to be permanently excluded from school. 35% of pupils in Inner London are on FSM compared to the national average of 19% (xvii)

The potential of cultural education

Bringing communities together. Culture provides young people with a sense of their own identity and a shared understanding and appreciation of the communities they live in.

By helping provide this sense of place, heritage and identity it can support other services, such as adult social care.

Partnership examples

The London Curriculum is being developed by the GLA, working with AND, and will encourage schools to use the city's heritage, people and places to improve knowledge and understanding of subjects in the formal school curriculum.

The South London Gallery's Shop of Possibilities opened in 2012 and is a "social space for play" in an empty shop on a nearby housing estate. It hosts events and activities for local young people.