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25 OCTOBER 2021
Grosvenor Britain & Ireland has launched a ‘Mayfair Youth Forum’ to ensure this part of London works for everyone - regardless of age or background – by actively giving young people an opportunity to understand and influence its future.
For the first time in the history of the area, we’re actively inviting young people to have a say in the way this neighbourhood gets made and managed. This is one way that we’re delivering on the commitments made in our community charter, Positive Space, to ensure that everyone - regardless of age or background - has an opportunity to understand and influence change in their neighbourhood.
Given the uncertainty that young adults in London and elsewhere are facing at such a crucial stage in their lives, programmes like this are more than important than ever.
Exams have been disrupted and school leavers are facing bleak job prospects. Levels of unemployment for young people in Westminster are double that of adults aged 25-49 (Young Westminster Foundation) and job opportunities for 16-24-year olds across the UK have already fallen by 90,000 between August-October 2020 (ONS). This uncertainty about their future puts immense pressure on young adults, with 83% reporting that the pandemic had negatively impacted their mental health (Young Minds, March 2020).
So, it’s fundamental that the local community – including young people – should benefit from the opportunities which come from living in a thriving part of London. However, despite making up 25% of the national population, they are the age group we hear from the least. Research that Grosvenor published in October told us that 89% of young adults aged 16-18 have never been asked the future of their neighbourhood and just 8% had attended a public consultation.
This surely has to change. Young people should feel completely welcome in the neighbourhoods where they live, study or visit. But the truth is, developers and councils still routinely fail to understand or meet their needs.
That is why we’re partnering with youth engagement specialists, 2-3 Degrees and 20 young people aged 14-18 who live or study in Westminster, to have a meaningful conversation about Mayfair’s future.
The Mayfair Youth Forum will initially use a new national youth engagement toolkit, called Voice.Opportunity.Power, to structure the conversation. This is based on a 5-stage process designed to give young people strategic influence over changes proposed to an area, starting with the youth forum developing a Manifesto for the area to make it work better for young people (see below). The process also includes an early intervention or ‘meanwhile project’ (see Session 4) that delivers positive change quickly and demonstrates to participants how their input can influence outcomes.
The MYF’s Manifesto for Mayfair has been drafted and signed off by the young adults and focuses on 5 themes:
Alongside the toolkit sessions, we are delivering a skills development and learning programme to help them grow into future leaders and offering work experience opportunities with the various teams at Grosvenor.
All of this has been put together with the young people themselves and here’s what some of them have said so far:
We are reviewing how best to progress the Mayfair Youth Forum and potentially apply it to other neighbourhoods, such as in Belgravia.
If you are interested in learning more, or know someone under-18 that lives or studies near Belgravia who would be interested in joining a Belgravia Youth Forum, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grosvenor is a property developer, manager and investor – we create great places where communities, business and nature thrive.
In London’s West End, we support nearly 1,000 businesses and thousands of residents and workers each day. We also invest in new neighbourhoods elsewhere in London, Liverpool and across the South of England.
With a track record of over 340 years, we are part of an international property company improving property and places across many of the world’s leading cities, promoting sustainability within the built environment and enhancing the wellbeing of our customers and communities.
We are a values-led organisation which represents the Grosvenor family. Our work in property, alongside Grosvenor’s other activities in food and agtech, rural estate management and support for philanthropic initiatives, shares a common purpose - to deliver lasting commercial, social and environmental benefit - addressing today’s needs while taking responsibility for those of future generations.
Thinking long term allows us to give equal weight to the environmental, social and commercial impact of everything that we do.
Head of Corporate Communications, Grosvenor Property UK
+44 (0)20 7312 2341 ext.6957