Why we do it

Being a young person in London these days is a tricky business. A barrage of negative media stereotypes, ‘postcode wars’ and cuts in youth services haven’t really helped.

In the last six years, an estimated £387m has been axed from youth services in nearly every local authority in the UK. (Unison, 2016).

In December 2016, Dame Louise Casey published The Casey Review: a review into opportunity and integration which stated that, ‘where communities live separately, with fewer interactions between people from different backgrounds, mistrust, anxiety and prejudice grow’.

Promoting social integration is a matter for everyone…It means ensuring that people of different faiths, ethnicities, sexualities, social backgrounds and generations don’t just tolerate one another or live side by side but meet, mix and forge relationships as friends and neighbours as well as citizens.

Sadiq khan, mayor of london, 2016

At London Football Journeys, we tackle mistrust and prejudice by taking participants to different parts of London to build positive links with their peers – other young Londoners. We’re working to break down barriers between young people in London based on evidence that meaningful interaction makes you more likely to view that group positively, but also put more faith in people as a whole.

By playing football together in each other’s ‘home’ ground, London becomes more accessible and the things they share become obvious.

“It was scary at the beginning because I didn’t know what they were going to be like. I wasn’t really confident going to other places and meeting new people but now I’ve met these lot I’ll be okay for the next time.”

LFJ young person from Harrow