47.5% of children in Islington live in poverty, the third highest rate in London.
A third of Islington’s children live in households where no-one is in work, and well over half of our school-age children are eligible for the ‘Pupil Premium’, which has a strong negative relationship with academic achievement.
Sadly, Islington is ranked as one of the worst boroughs in England for children across a range of measures, including ‘income deprivation’.
Growing up in poverty can make children’s lives harder well into adulthood, reducing access to opportunities. We are determined to make a difference for the thousands of children and young people in our borough who are affected by poverty.
Our Young Catalyst partners give small amounts of money to local children and their families to spend on memorable activities and life’s essentials. Across the borough, Body and Soul, Mary’s Youth Club, Islington Council’s No Recourse to Public Funds Team, Centre 404, Creative Opportunities and MEWSo are able to change young lives.
In May 2019 we launched new resources and a short film about Catalyst in Islington. Read and watch.
We work to create opportunities for young people at times that suit them. In a borough-wide conversation with 340 young people in 2016, they told us about the kinds of things they want to do in their borough. You can read more about these conversations in our report, published in January 2016.
Our Young Grant-Makertsmis an ongoing programme and truly unique in its participatory approach. Each year, a group of local young people in Islington get together to learn about grant-making and having the final say in which youth focused groups they allocate £80,000. Read more.
We had just entered our third year of Young Grant-Makers when we went into lockdown, so we had to move all learning online, and our group now meets weekly via Zoom. This year’s Grant-Makers will launch an open call for grant applications by the end of June 2020 so watch this space!
The Mentoring Works programme connects volunteer mentors from some of Islington’s largest businesses with almost every secondary school in the borough. These mentors give time to help young people (some of whom are pictured above) control their futures. Now in its sixth year, Mentoring Works has connected 600 mentors with 900 students. You can read more about what this means for students and their mentors.