DD2112 Peer Outreach Team programme 2017-2020

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Date signed: 
03 May 2017
Decision by: 
Jeff Jacobs, Head of Paid Service

Executive summary

This decision seeks approval for Peer Outreach activity for a three year period from 2017-20 to support the GLA’s youth led engagement work to ensure policy and programme activity is aligned with the concerns and perspectives of children and young people, whilst providing personal skills development opportunities for the young people on the Peer Outreach Team.


That the  Executive Director of Communities and Intelligence approves:

1.    Receipt of income of approximately £20,000 from organisations benefiting from peer outreach activity. 

2.    Expenditure of up to £150,000, which consists of the income received plus up to £130,000 of GLA funds for the Peer Outreach activity for a three-year period from 2017-20 to support the GLA’s youth engagement work. 

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    The GLA’s Peer Outreach Team (young people aged 15 to 24 years) and the Lynk up Crew (Mayoral young advisors aged 7-14 years) deliver a range of projects and activities in partnership with GLA policy teams and functional bodies (including health, culture, LFEPA, and the MPS). The aim is to ensure policy and programme activity is better aligned with the concerns and perspectives of children and young people whilst providing personal skills development opportunities for the young people involved.

1.2    The Peer Outreach Team and the Lynk Up Crew were set up in 2006.  They work on ten to fifteen projects at a time engaging approximately 3,000 young people each year.

1.3    The Peer Outreach Team is continuing to develop its sustainability strategy and has put in place a process by which it charges organisations for Peer Outreach Worker’s time.  This decision includes approval for the receipt of approximately £20,000 of income generated through this approach. 

1.4    This income will be generated by charging the organisations who have agreed to pay for the Peer Outreach Workers time in supporting the projects. Peer Outreach Workers will complete timesheets to record the hours that they work on each project which then will be charged at the Peer Outreach Worker’s hourly rate (at London Living  Wage) multiplied by the number of hours spent on the project.  

1.5    In 2016 the Lynk Up Crew won a 2016 Princess Diana Champion Volunteer Award for their peer led research and campaigning.  In 2017 the Queen Mary University of London awarded the The Verbatim Formula it’s  ‘Influence Award’  for the work that it has done with the Peer Outreach Team to deliver workshops using applied performance techniques to build confidence and encourage positive aspirations while recording testimony from those that have experienced the care system first hand.

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    The Peer Outreach Team programme provides twofold benefits. One is to offer young people who are not in education, employment or training valuable work experience and training here at City Hall, especially for those who are not ready for a full apprenticeship. The other is to deliver a range of youth led projects and provide models of good practice in delivery and outcomes. 

2.2    Following a period of induction and voluntary activity (of between 4 and 6 weeks), the young people involved are paid an hourly rate (at the London Living Wage) on a sessional basis for their work. The work has won a number of awards and received very positive feedback over the years.

Peer Outreach Team and Lynk Up Crew membership

2.3    An average of thirty young people participate in the Peer Outreach Team at any one time, with a further 20 young people being part of the Lynk Up Crew. 

2.4    The Peer Outreach Team operates on a roll on/roll off basis with approximately 12 young people moving on from the team each year and being replaced by new members.  The majority of Peer Outreach Team leavers move into education or employment.

2.5    Around ten young people leave the Lynk Up Crew each July, with a new intake of ten more young people in September. 

Peer Outreach Team Projects

2.6    The Peer Outreach Team works on a range of projects and activities in partnership with GLA policy teams and functional bodies and other organisations.  Core to their role is:

•    Engaging with GLA internal teams to create bespoke young people’s engagement activities for GLA strategies and programmes, including youth consultation on the statutory strategies. 
•    Supporting, advising and guiding external organisations in their successful engagement with children and young people.
•    Offering advice and guidance to organisations establishing youth led programmes and youth boards.
•    Giving advice and guidance/workshops on child protection and safe from harm issues

2.7    Planned activity for 2017/18 can be found below.  The programme for future years will be developed in detail over the period.

Young Londoners Participation Network (YLPN)
•    Organising quarterly network meetings of the Young Londoners Participation Network hosted at City Hall and attended by an average of fifty participants who work with children and young people
•    2017/18 YLPN provisional network themes include: apprenticeships, training and work opportunities for young people, equalities and discrimination, tackling extremism
•    Through the YLPN, working with youth work providers to identify how City Hall can maximise its strategic role to ensure there is good youth provision across London.

Lynk Up Crew
•    Managing the Lynk Up Crew and facilitating its monthly meetings.  Please see examples of planned Lynk Up Crew activities:

o    Reporting on equality and discrimination issues affecting children in school with internal and external organisations including the GLA’s Diversity and Social Policy Team and Black Training Education Group.
o    Reporting to mental health charities on the effect of domestic abuse on children
o    With the Anna Fraud Centre identifying more effective ways of engaging children with mental health services  
o    Informing the GLA’s Regeneration Team on how children can be engaged in urban planning and open space design

Policing, crime, serious youth violence, community safety and transport
•    Providing youth engagement to support MOPAC’s implementation of the Police and Crime Strategy
•    Managing youth engagement for the Serious Youth Violence Parliamentary Commission, together with Active Communities
•    Assessing award applications for the 2018 Spirit of London Awards (set up by the Damilola Taylor Trust (the awards known as "The Community Oscars for Young People" celebrate the achievements of young Londoners and highlight the work these role models do in their local communities)

Health and mental health
•    Providing feedback to the GLA Health Team on their strategic vision by Peer Outreach Team membership of Mental Health and Children and Young People Task and Finish Group 
•    Organising specific workshops aimed at young people for the Mental Health and Children and Young People Task and Finish Group, for example around sectioning and access to mental health services
•    Supporting Public Health England in their mental health programme by advising on their website and digital media strategy

•    Advising and guiding on the Borough of Culture programme and the Love London offer
•    Working with Creative Circle Foundation on increasing access to the advertising industry for BAME and young people from more disadvantaged and diverse backgrounds
•    Supporting events, focus groups and evaluations of the London Curriculum.

Supporting vulnerable groups
•    Running the quarterly Care Consortium of organisations that work with young people in care and care leavers
•    Delivering a series of Young Parent focus groups  with the GLA’s diversity and social policy team 
•    Staging an Inquiry in Parliament Week to highlight vulnerable children and young people’s issues 
•    Organising a series of events during the annual leaving care week with relevant partners
•    Mentoring young people on Redbridge College Pupil Referral Unit’s media course and organising an end of year event to showcase successes of the project
•    Organising focus groups of LGBT young people for the GLA’s Diversity and Social Policy Team

Social mobility, jobs and training
•    Consulting on and supporting the development of the London Curriculum Citizenship/PHSE unit
•    Disseminating information on London Ambitions and career education opportunities through the YLPN and other relevant networks 
•    Supporting the monitoring and evaluation of GLA education and youth programmes.

Urban planning, housing, environment and regeneration
•    Delivering focus groups and advising the GLA’s Regeneration Team on how to engage children and young people in their regeneration planning and crowd funding programme
•    Advising and guiding UCL students with their regeneration and urban planning course.
•    Supporting On side in the setting up of youth zones across London by taking part in their Youth Board and connecting them to young people.


Equality comments

3.1    The make-up of the Lynk Up Crew and the Peer Outreach Team reflects London’s diverse population. It includes young people with differing characteristics and backgrounds, including care leavers, teenage parents and young people living in temporary accommodation.  

3.2    Opportunities to join the Lynk Up Crew and the Peer Outreach Team are advertised through www.london.gov.uk and via intermediaries who work with young people, such as members of the Young Londoners Participation Network.

3.3    We monitor the characteristics and background of Team members and check that there is also an equality of outcomes.

3.4    Peer Outreach Workers work on a wide range of targeted projects, many focused on supporting     vulnerable groups.

Other considerations

a)    Key risks and issues 
The table below outlines the main risks associated with the Peer Outreach activity and youth engagement. 





Peer Outreach workers do not attend/ complete work to an adequate standard



Organisation of the Peer Outreach workers into teams lead by their peers has been seen to increase attendance and improve the quality of their work.  All projects are overseen by the GLA project officer.  Monthly reviews of progress at Peer Outreach Team meetings.

Lynk Up Crew do not attend



Provide interesting and fun activities, and ensuring that attendees can influence the content of sessions and the way the Lynk Up Crew is run.

Insufficient demand for Peer Outreach support 



Promotion of the team’s work across the GLA and through the Young Londoners Participation network, proactively responding to Write-On enquiries from organisations  that would benefit from peer outreach support.

Less income is generated than forecast



Monthly budget updates with accurate income forecasting, and ensuring that planned POW sessional hours do not exceed available funding.



















b)    Links to strategies and Mayoral and corporate priorities

In ‘A City for All Londoners’ the Mayor sets out that for the city to be successful, Londoners must live well together.  He explains the social integration means addressing inequalities, tackling disadvantage and discrimination and promoting full participation in the life of our city.  The Peer Outreach Team’s work helps give young people the tools to participate in every area of policy which affects them.

As stated in paragraph 2.6, the Peer Outreach Team will be supporting GLA’s youth consultation on the Mayor’s statutory strategies.  

The Team’s work also directly supports specific Mayoral and corporate priorities such as that for #London is Open, giving a voice to those most vulnerable and hard to reach young people, and to reduce serious youth violence.

c)    Impact assessments and consultations.

The Peer Outreach Workers (POWs) consistently comment that they have developed a significant number of skills as a direct result of their participation on the team. These are: 
•    Organisation
•    Communication
•    Team working    •    Leadership
•    Networking
•    Self Awareness    •    Professionalism
•    Public speaking
•    Project management 

Feedback from project attendees is also very positive. The impact the POWs had on the young people within the projects they worked on, as well as the impact they had on the development on policy. There was a genuine understanding of the value the POWs brought to the work that could not be fulfilled by adult professionals. ‘Unfailing enthusiasm, passion and knowledge’ has expressed by partners. Other organisations comment ‘the Peer Outreach Team is a hugely valuable asset for the GLA  to connect with young Londoners on crucial issues and encourage their input on making London a better place’.

Data is regularly updated as members leave the team for professional and educational opportunities and information on the Peer Outreach work is disseminated widely through its termly newsletter.  We have been working closely with Project Oracle, London’s youth evidence hub, to update our theory of change and to develop a robust evaluation framework. 


Financial comments

Approval is being sought for expenditure of up to £150,000 for the Peer Outreach activity to support the GLA’s youth engagement work. The GLA will receive income of approximately £20, 000 from organisations benefiting from Peer outreach activity, the remaining costs of £130,000 will be incurred over three financial years in 2017-18 (£40k), 2018-19 (£45k), 2019-20 (£45k), and will be funded from the Peer Outreach budget held within the Health and Communities Unit

Planned delivery approach and next steps



Peer Outreach Team programme delivery

April 17 – March 2020

New members of Lynk Up Crew start

September 2017 - 20

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