Rory Stewart promises London youth volunteer service

Rory Stewart promises London youth volunteer service

Rory Stewart will introduce a new voluntary service for all teenagers in the capital if he is elected to City Hall this May.

Mr Stewart’s plans to build on the National Citizen Service – introduced by David Cameron in 2011 – which offers a two-week residential course of outdoor activities and life skill training to students after their GCSEs.

Currently, just one in six young people take up the offer – and Mr Stewart wants to double that figure in four years.

And the former Conservative minister would expand the programme with a voluntary arm in London, so youngsters give back after the residential course.

All young people taking part would do two shifts a month: one focused on the environment and one on charity work in their community.

This could include improving parks and green spaces, or working with the elderly, veterans, disabled people or refugees.

He hopes 30,000 youngsters will get involved each year by the end of his first term.

Ultimately, Mr Stewart wants the service to be mandatory for all youngsters by 2028.

The mayoral hopeful said the London Youth Corps would become a “rite of passage” for young people in the city.

He said: “Teenagers face a peer-pressure cooker of social media, an increasingly competitive job market, and – in some areas – the threat of gangs and drugs.”

Mr Stewart claimed the Mayor could do “far more” to support youth services in the capital.

He added: “The programme will bring young people together from across London, from all backgrounds and neighbourhoods, and give them the confidence to see themselves – and each other – as full citizens of London.

“In this way we will rebuild our spirit of civic service and pride in this great city.”


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