A London-based grant-giving charity has pledged an additional £22m in support for children and young people over the next six years to help tackle the impact of Covid-19.
The John Lyon’s Charity, which gives grants to organisations operating in nine boroughs in the capital, has ring-fenced the multimillion-pound funding from its endowment with a new strategy.
The charity said that most young people spent their time either at school, at home or in the community, so it would look to target organisations that work in those areas.
It said it would support organisations by initiating collaborations, replicating successful initiatives and rehabilitating organisations, using this funding as a lifeline for many that are at risk of permanent closure.
One of the first areas the charity will address is the dramatic fall in the offer of creative opportunities in schools by launching a new Cultural Capital Fund.
The charity said that even before the pandemic there was a worrying trend away from arts subjects in schools to focus on core subjects that are considered to be more academic.
It warned that the arts might become the preserve of those who could afford it.
The charity is inviting applications from both schools and arts institutions in London. Organisations must operate in the boroughs of Barnet, Brent, Camden, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Harrow, Kensington & Chelsea, the City of London or Westminster.
Lynne Guyton, chief executive of the John Lyon’s Charity, said it was time to act strategically and definitively for the children and young people’s sector for the long term.
She said: “Our aim is to fund not just for the recovery, but for the sustainability of the CYP sector.
“Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic we have pledged to walk alongside our community and provide help and assistance in any way we can.
“We strongly believe that we need to take positive action now to safeguard our previous investment in the sector for future generations. Now is the proverbial rainy day.”