31 community organisations are hosting events this week to allow young Londoners space to talk about their health and wellbeing including the impact of COVID-19 on their lives and the benefit of the vaccine.Funding for the community organisations is helping to bring young Londoners together through music, sport, film, dance and a range of other activities to think about their health.Latest initiative from NHS and Public Health England (PHE) and the Mayor to support young Londoners and increase vaccine uptake. The NHS, PHE with the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan are supporting a series of community events this week (from 23 August) in a project that has been co-created with young Londoners. The events are designed to help young people discuss their health, wellbeing and mental health, including the impact of COVID-19 on their lives and the benefit of the vaccine.
For the next week, 31 organisations will be putting on events across more than 20 London boroughs to allow young Londoners to get together. The hand-selected events by young Londoners could see more than 3,000 young Londoners use music, sport, film, dance and a range of other activities to talk about their experiences over the last 17 months.
From All Star Lanes in Stratford, to Edmonton Football Park in Enfield, and The Evangelical Church Hall in Willesden to Hyde Park in Kensington and Chelsea, the events will see young Londoners unite in their local community to share their stories and learn more about the vaccine from NHS and health professionals.
The events include a session about vaccine myths by Africa Advocacy Foundation in Lewisham, an arts and poetry workshop by Community Focus Inclusive Arts in Barnet, a football tournament by Faiths Forum for London in Hackney, and the Chinese Information and Advice Centre in Westminster bringing young Londoners together with live music from the Royal Academy of Music.
Each community organisation has been given up to £1,000 to help host their event from NHS and PHE. This comes as young people asked for creative spaces for young Londoners to have open and honest conversations about the significant impact of the pandemic on their lives, the effect on their mental health, the disproportionate impact of the virus and the role of the vaccine.
‘London, you good?’ is the latest initiative from the NHS, PHE and the Mayor to help improve the health of young Londoners and increase uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine. London’s NHS and health leaders have been working closely throughout the rollout of the vaccine and are focused on protecting young people by increasing uptake, ensuring the vaccine is as accessible as possible, including through hundreds of pop-up clinics such as at the Tate Modern and Heaven Nightclub, and providing access to accurate information.
Dr Helene Brown, GP and Medical Director for System Improvement and Professional Standards for the NHS in London said: “All young Londoners have the right to access trusted information to make informed decisions about their health, including taking the covid vaccine, and these community events are the perfect setting for these conversations.
“NHS and public health staff and volunteers are doing a tremendous job vaccinating the capital and we’re determined to keep up this momentum so that every eligible Londoner feels confident to get the jab and get protected from covid.
“Getting the vaccine is the safest, most effective way to protect our capital from the virus, so if you or a friend or family member are unsure about getting vaccinated, or have other concerns about your health and wellbeing, please come forward to one of these events.”
Professor Kevin Fenton, London Regional Director Public Health England said: “It's been a tough year and a half and young Londoners have been hit hard in terms of employment, disruption to education, losing loved ones and social isolation.
“London, you good? is a joint initiative to allow young adults to have open and honest conversations in the community about the impact of the pandemic on their lives, their wellbeing and the vaccine.
“Communities know their young people and their needs best and this is often where we can make the most difference.
“Young Londoners have selected 30 events in over 20 London boroughs to take place this week through sports, music, film and festivals. The events will cover a host of topics because we know that many factors impact our wellbeing and physical health. Make sure to get down to one near you this week!”
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Young Londoners have suffered greatly due to the devastating impact of the pandemic. As our city continues to recover, it’s important that young Londoners are not only given a chance to reflect on the impact this virus has had on their lives, but to learn more about the vital role the vaccines are playing in beating COVID-19. We must do all we can to help young people across London and to urge them to get vaccinated, and I’m proud that by supporting these community events we are giving thousands of young Londoners a chance to learn more about the lifesaving vaccines.”
Marissa Conway, from Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy, said: “It's crucial that young people's voices are front and centre as we plan for post-pandemic life. The Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy is thrilled to have this support for our upcoming zine workshop for young Londoners to creatively envision a future beyond COVID.”
Adrian Jones, from the Hampton Project said: “We, the young people from The Hampton Project, thank the Mayor, NHS and PHE for this grant allowing us to showcase Health Conversations with Young Londoners. This COVID era has given us so much to deal with and it's great that people want to hear what young people are thinking, saying, and doing across the capital.”