Team London Young Ambassadors

Team London Young Ambassadors is the Mayor’s school volunteering programme which connects young Londoners with their communities through social action.

In September 2020, TLYA will enter a new phase. Building on the existing programme, we are seeking to close the socio-economic social action participation gap and create a London-wide environment where all young people are supported and encouraged to take part in their communities through social action, especially those at risk of exclusion. We will do this by focusing on three streams of activity:

  1. Stream One: an enhanced programme of support targeting Alternative Provision (AP), Pupil Referral Units (PRU) and Special Educational Need and Disability (SEND) Schools;
  2. Stream Two: a universal school-based social action programme particularly targeting primary schools serving more deprived areas of London; and
  3. Stream Three: a programme of teacher training and sector support to help schools to embed high-quality youth social action into school life.

Request for proposals

The GLA is seeking applications from specialist delivery partners able to deliver an individual steam, or larger organisations and consortiums able to deliver more than one stream or the programme in its entirety, for two academic years of programming (September 2020 – August 2022).

The programme will be co-funded by the GLA and the #iwill Fund, which is administered by Step Up to Serve and the National Lottery Community Fund.

More information on the programme, mandatory criteria for proposals, and key dates can be found in the Request for Proposals below:

Request for proposals

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Addendum

Programme costs form

Additional Information Session: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

We will be hosting an extra information session in order to answer additional questions organisations may have at this exceptional time, and to support them to adapt their proposals in light of coronavirus.

The session will be hosted on MS Teams on Thursday 21 May, 10.30 – 11.20am. If you would like to attend the session, please email [email protected]

How to apply

As a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and its impact on schools, we will be shifting our timelines for procuring partners for Team London Young Ambassadors to.



Revised Deadline

Deadline for Questions 

Monday 13 July 2020 

Bid deadline 

5pm, Thursday 16 July 2020

Clarification meeting 

w/c 24 August 2020

Notification of success 

Monday 31 August 2020

Funding Agreement 

Monday 5 October 2020

Inception Meeting  

w/c 14 September 2020

Programme Development

October – December 2020

Programme to go live 

Monday 4 January 2021

Bids should be sent to [email protected] using:

  • A word or pdf format, minimum font 11. We have not created a bid proposal template for responses.
  • You may include diagrams and pictures as part of your response.
  • Responses should not exceed 30 pages of A4 (excluding budget and milestone sheets). Applications for Stream Three only are not expected to exceed 10 pages.

Bid applications must include:

  • Your bid proposal document
  • Contact information:
    • 2 x Key Contact names and their corresponding phone numbers and email addresses
    • Your organisation correspondence address (and registered address if different)
  • Your charity number, if applicable
  • Milestone report A, completed using the template found in Appendix 2
  • Milestone report B, completed using the template found in Appendix 3
  • A budget report, as referenced in Appendix 4 and completed using the excel document made available alongside this document
  • A completed Due Diligence form found in Appendix 5

These required elements do not count towards the overall page count of the proposal.

The application deadline is 17:00 on Thursday 16 July.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any further questions on the programme, or how to apply please email [email protected]. All email enquiries will be answered within five working days of receipt and be posted here.

We will receive and answer questions up to Monday 13 July.

Final FAQs and answers will be posted here on Tuesday 14 July.

Programme Elements

Is it expected that the Mayoral priorities are treated equally? 

The resources produced for the programme 2018-2020 have given equal weight to the six identified Mayoral priorities. However, there is flexibility around how this is translated into the delivery of the programme.  

Firstly, social action projects should be youth-led and young people should choose the issue they want to act on themselves based on issues they are facing in their own community. Over the last two years, for example, 27% of young peoples’ projects have focused on the environment and air quality, 13% on hunger, 12% on homelessness, 9% on mental health, and 7% on serious youth violence.  

Secondly, it is recognised that priorities change for London and therefore the GLA. For example, serious youth violence has become a more prevalent issue in London over the last two years leading us to offer more Small Grants to schools that address that issue. Mayoral elections in May could also lead to changes in Mayoral priorities.  funding for this programme will be unaffected by the elections.

Does the GLA have set definitions of social action and volunteering?

Youth social action refers to activities that young people do to make a positive difference to others or the environment. There are lots of ways in which young people can take practical action to make a positive difference. It can take place in a range of contexts and can mean formal or informal activities. These include volunteering, fundraising, campaigning or supporting peers.

We know that there are limited opportunities for young people to formally volunteer, which is why we are supportive of young people making positive differences in other ways. 

Organisations should refer to page 14 of the Request for Proposals which outlines the potential typologies and principles of high-quality youth social action.

Has the programme so far been more similar to Stream Two?

TLYA has historically only involved one universal ‘strand’ for schools. Since 2018, the programme has paid particular focus on reaching more young people at risk of exclusion. One of the things we have learnt from this process is that this group need more targeted and substantive support to engage in social action. This is why we have designed Phase Three as three separate streams; allowing different levels of resource for different groups of young people and teachers. 

Have the Small Grants for Schools been popular in the existing programme?

Yes. We have been running the Small Grants for Schools element for 3 years now. Each year, we have received vastly more applications than grants available. 2019 was a record year with 89 schools applying for 23 grants. We also introduced additional grants last year in partnership with the Violence Reduction Unit to promote 12 youth social action projects that addressed serious youth violence.

Examples of successful projects can be found on our website here:

Are you able to provide any more information on the expected number and size of the microgrants to be budgeted for and awarded?

We have used small grant giving as part of Team London Young Ambassadors to extend the impact of youth social action projects, continue to engage schools leading best practice, and to bring in more young people new to social action.

During Phase Two of the programme, we awarded 23 microgrants of £1,000 each year. These were spread out amongst primary, secondary, SEND schools, and alternative provision. In 2019, we also awarded 12 grants of £1,500 to projects focusing on serious youth violence with the support of the Violence Reduction Unit. In addition, our intended programme surrounding Euro2020 had budgeted for a additional school grants of between £60-250 focusing on physical activity and social action.

We are not committed to a defined micro-grant structure and organisations should feel free to alter the volume and value of grants as they see fit to meet the objectives of the programme.

The Youth Summits seem like an established part of the programme, will successful organisations be able to shape those?

We believe that congregating young people at City Hall is a powerful motivator for young people in creating social action plans. The structure and content of these events, however, is entirely flexible depending on the expertise of the delivery partner.

The GLA would like youth summits to be themed around the Mayoral priorities and concerns of Londoners. At time of writing, no Mayoral candidates for the 2021 election have published their manifestos. Bidding organisations should therefore bear in mind that the Mayoral priorities will be subject to change during the timeframes of the programme.

In addition, following social distancing measures due to COVID-19, we would be interested to see proposals from bidding organisations which look at digital alternatives to convening large groups of young people together at City Hall.

Will bidding organisations be able to attend any of the youth summits before the application deadline?

Unfortunately, due to the effects of coronavirus (COVID-19) all in-person events scheduled for 2020 have been cancelled.

As Phase Three is looking to build on the previous programmes, provide continuity for existing partner schools, and encourage a habit of volunteering, how much would the GLA like organisations to work with the existing network vs engaging new schools?

We want to work with the schools and young people that stand to gain the most from higher levels of youth social action. We believe that this could include working with existing partner schools and building on their existing provision, and it could include supporting new schools to engage with high-quality youth social action for the first time.

The GLA will support successful organisations in building relationships with schools already engaged in the programme.

Has the programme engaged with primary schools previously?

Yes. During Phase Two, we worked with 366 primary schools. This represents 20% of all primary schools in London, whereas we have worked with 51% of London’s secondary schools. We therefore believe that primary schools represent a significant opportunity area for engaging new schools and building a habit of volunteering in younger children.

Has the existing programme shown a good spread across London, or have you seen any ‘cold spots’?

We have seen variance in delivery across the London boroughs. This has included a greater proportion of schools in Lambeth, Tower Hamlets, and Waltham Forest engage in the programme. Conversely, we have seen a smaller proportion of schools from Bromley and Havering engage. There several likely reasons for this which we will look to address with the successful organisations.

Does the GLA require participants to be spread across London, especially regarding Stream One? Or can organisations bid with more localised programmes?

For Stream One, the GLA is particularly interested in targeting support towards young people most at risk of exclusion. These young people are dispersed across London and the GLA has a statutory duty to support the whole of London. For these reasons, we would prefer proposals that are able to be delivered across all 32 boroughs. 

We do, however, recognise that there are concentrations of at-risk young people which means that an organisation could meet the intended outcomes by delivering in one region of London. If an organisation would like to do this, they should include clear rationale and evidence within their proposal.

Is there a list of existing partner schools that can be shared with bidding organisations?

Unfortunately, this information is not available at this time. This will be available to successful organisations who will have access to our database of participating schools and teachers in order to support the continuity of the TLYA programme.

Targeting participants, measuring outputs and evaluating outcomes

How have you measured the impact of the programme so far?

So far, we have used student and teacher surveys to gain insight into the outcomes of the programme. Questions has focused on community engagement, social integration, and social mobility, as well as individual and community wellbeing.

We have also tracked some of community impact via some output measures, such as how much food has been donated, how many volunteering hours, and how much has been donated to charity.

As the programme is looking to build the number of young people who take part in regular social action, especially amongst those at risk of exclusion, we also use output measures such as: number of young people taking part, number of social action plans generated, and number of at-risk students engaged.

Phase 3 will develop our evaluation strategy further. Separate funding has been earmarked for the next two years to spend on external evaluation to build the robustness of our measures. Team London is also an active participant in the #iwill Learning Hub, which will continue to influence our evaluation processes.

Are you doing any longitudinal evaluation, especially when it comes to long-term impacts on primary students?

No, we haven’t tracked the impact on individual participants for longer than a year. This is something that we’d like to investigate as part of Phase Three.

We have commissioned Rocket Science to conduct an external evaluation of TLYA and embedding high-quality youth social action in schools. This evaluation is due to be published late in the summer.

Will successful delivery partners have access to, and be able to contribute to, ongoing research and evaluation projects?

Yes. We would expect delivery partners to engage with these projects and adapt their practice considering the latest research and evidence. This will include the outcome of our current research project on Embedding high quality youth social action in schools. We have also allocated funding for further external evaluations of the programme over the course of Phase Three which successful organisations will be expected to engage with.

For Stream Three, do the 540 teachers have to come from separate schools?

No. However, we would expect the teachers involved to represent as great a range of schools as possible. We would discourage delivery partners from supporting more than two teachers per school as part of this target.

There is a proposed output of 200 projects, and an output of 200 schools for Stream Two. Does that mean one social action project per school? 

Yes. The GLA would like to encourage organisations to support young people through the development and implementing of at least one of their social action ideas. It is therefore expected that there is at least one social action project per school. Bidding organisations should justify changes to these outputs in their proposals. 

What sort of data management expectations does the GLA have for bidding organisations? 

The GLA does not have a data management system (CRM) in place. Bidding organisations should therefore demonstrate that they have the capability to manage the details of schools, projects, and young people in their proposals, or lay out their intentions for creating / adapting a CRM in time for the commencement of the programme (organisations can allocate budget for this as laid out in Section 4 of the request for proposals). Successful organisations will need to have a CRM that can regularly produce output reports for the GLA and #iwill Fund in line with Section 7. 

How will the target schools / areas be determined? 

Target schools and areas will be developed in partnership with successful organisations during the programme development phase. Previously, the GLA has determined target schools by looking at the more deprived areas of London (as measured using the Indices of Multiple Deprivation) and the schools who serve students in these areas. This has been done with the support of the GLA’s City Intelligence Unit. The GLA will also use organisations’ specialist knowledge to help interpret statistics, and develop a targeted list based on need / young people less likely to take part in social action.

Are supplementary schools considered as alternative provision?

Stream One, and it’s focus on alternative provision and SEND, is looking to directly support young people at greater risk of exclusion and less likely to take part in youth social action. 

As supplementary schools provide additional support to young people attending mainstream schools, we would prefer bidding organisations not to include work in supplementary schools as part of Stream One as young people attending mainstream schools can be reached via Stream Two. From the available information on the types of students that attend supplementary schools, there isn’t enough evidence to indicate that they serve young people at greater risk of exclusion. However, if you are able to provide evidence contrary to this, we would welcome this in your bid. 

[Definition: A supplementary school is a community-based initiative to provide additional educational support for children also attending mainstream schools. They are often geared to provide specific language, cultural and religious teaching for children from ethnic minorities.]

Is the GLA open to working with non-school groups through this programme?

Team London run several youth social action programmes in London, from HeadStart Action to Young London Inspired. Each of these focuses on working with young people in different ways and in different contexts. Team London Young Ambassadors therefore has a unique place in our portfolio of specifically supporting schools and educational institutions.

Therefore, any organisation wishing to work outside of schools should provide substantial justification as part of their proposal.

How different streams and delivery partners will work together

Does the GLA intend to fund one organisation per stream? 

Each organisation is expected to submit one proposal, no matter how many streams they are bidding for. Each proposal will be scored separately against the criteria of the streams bid for. (e.g. if an organisation bids to deliver all three streams, the proposal will be scored once for Stream One, once for Stream Two, and once for Stream Three.)  

The highest scoring proposal will be chosen for each individual stream. This might mean that the GLA funds three separate organisations. It might mean that it funds one. We would also welcome bids from organisations who may form a consortium by collaborating with a partner organisation. The number of funded organisations therefore depends on the quality of the proposals and any potential cross-cutting within bids. 

If more than one delivery partner is recruited, would those organisations be expected to collaborate closely?

Yes. Even though there are three distinct streams of activity, the GLA still envisages Team London Young Ambassadors as being a single programme for encouraging youth social action through schools. Therefore, successful organisations will be expected to collaborate closely with each other and the GLA to make sure that all the elements fit together. This will be initially facilitated by the GLA, potentially through a steering group structure or similar.

How can smaller organisations identify suitable organisations to partner with?

The GLA will be sharing the details of those organisations who attended the two information sessions amongst fellow attendees. If you would like details of the organisations in attendance at the information sessions and webinars, please email [email protected]

Are the expected number of young people involved unique, or shared across streams? 

The GLA is committed to supporting youth social action as broadly as possible over the next two years. We therefore expect to impact on at least 14,750 young people across the three streams. Where possible, we will therefore require successful organisations to evidence the number of unique young people worked with. 

How do you expect successful delivery partners to engage with the dedicated Programme Officer from the GLA?

The GLA will continue to provide a full-time Programme Officer to support the TLYA programme. Successful organisations should therefore anticipate regular dialogue with the GLA, such as weekly meetings and quarterly review meetings. This allows delivery partners to give regular feedback and raise any concerns which may require additional support they require. Through these meetings the GLA is able to provide additional intelligence or knowledge to support the outcomes of the programme.

The Programme Officer can also support with organising events, such as hosting events at City Hall and identifying speakers, as well as connection across other GLA policy teams.

The bidding process and budgeting

Will the GLA recognise synergy between streams if an organisation is bidding for more than one stream?

Yes. The GLA is asking for one proposal per organisation or consortium, even if you are bidding for more than one stream, in order to allow bids to demonstrate cross-cutting that might enhance the outcomes for individual streams.

If an organisation is not successful for all the streams they have bid for, we will consult with them during the clarification meetings.

How could consortiums of organisations work? Are bidding organisations permitted to sub-contract? 

Successful organisations may request in their applications to sub-contract work to other organisations. Bidding organisations are expected to satisfactorily demonstrate how the relationship would work, how it would be structured, and who they would likely be in their proposals. 

However, the GLA would prefer a consortium approach where partners are more equitable in terms of the way they operate, their involvement in management and reporting, and in maintaining a direct relationship with the GLA.  

What are the turnover requirements for bidding organisations?  

The GLA does not usually award funding to organisations where that funding represents more than 50% of annual turnover. However, exceptions are possible. Any bidding organisation to which this applies should give clear justification in their proposal for why it is appropriate to be awarded funding that represents over 50% of turnover. 

Can we include a contingency line in the budget?

Yes. Bidding organisations should allocate a percentage of the budget to mitigating risk. However, successful organisations are expected to have used the whole grant to support youth social action in schools by the end of the programme.

How have the streams broken down in the budget?  

The GLA has used its experience and knowledge from running TLYA and similar youth programmes over the last five years to formulate an expected ‘cost per head’ depending on need and institution. Bidding organisations should therefore expect to value their proposed intervention at £970 per participant for Stream One and £29 per participant for Stream Two. 

Funding available for Stream Three is relatively small. Is it expected to be a contribution to existing programmes, or a new programme in its entirety?  

Bidding organisations should consider that the budget available for Stream Three does not include the Value In Kind (VIK) support modelled by the GLA. This VIK will include all event hosting and management costs (if held at City Hall). It will also include the value of a dedicated Programme Officer at Team London who support the work to develop the GLA’s role in supporting the sector, convening networks and continuing the legacy of the #iwill campaign. We would expect this to compliment the outcomes of Stream Three. 

Are the microgrants for schools, one of the recommended elements for Stream One and Two, for the bidding organisation to budget within the total funding available? 

Yes. Room for these should be included in organisation’s budgets.

Are the slides available from the information sessions run by Team London?

Yes. You can find the slides from those information sessions here. All questions asked during the sessions are published here.

Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Are organisations able to allocate budget for programme design costs (including staff) for the period September – December 2020?

Yes. Organisations are permitted to budget for costs incurred as part of the design of the programme. However, there is no additional funding available for this (following the adjustment of timeframes during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis). Organisations are not expected to allocate any of the grant funding prior to the commencement of the programme. Organisations deciding to budget this way are therefore expected to provide suitable justification for why they would like to do this.

What level of detail should we provide in terms of contingency planning?

Bidding organisations should provide enough information for us to know what they might consider should guidance on social distancing and school provision change during the programme. This should include information on how they will continue to reach young people most at risk of exclusion (in the context of digital exclusion and acute impacts on vulnerable groups). Alongside this, organisations should indicate the level of flexibility in their intended programme elements as we navigate an everchanging situation.

We know that the future is incredibly uncertain now, meaning that even contingency plans will be subject to change. This will, of course, be taken into consideration when judging bids. The GLA is committed to the principles outlined in a joint statement from several London funders in how we support funded organisations during this time. We will continue to follow these for the foreseeable future. Bidding organisations should be confident that we will be considerate and adaptable in relation to contingency planning.

How much weight should we give to mental health and wellbeing (both in programming and resources) following coronavirus (COVID-19)?

We believe that giving young people a clear role in the recovery following COVID-19 will support young peoples’ mental health. As a result, we believe that high-quality youth social action can play a major role in supporting wellbeing in itself.

In the past, the programme has supported a broad range of Mayoral priorities. Organisations should continue to show flexibility in the issues they support when young people choose to lead social action and as the landscape for Londoners changes over time. Due to a growing evidence base showing the effects of coronavirus so far on this age group, we anticipate that this will include an increased emphasis on mental health and wellbeing.  

Are any of objectives or elements of the programme changing as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic?

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is likely to have a far-reaching impact on young people and schools for a considerable time to come. We will therefore expect the TLYA programme to play a role in supporting young people and their communities recover.

We have published an Addendum to the Request for Proposals which bidding organisations should consider. 

Given the developing situation, we will also expect successful organisations to show significant flexibility in design and delivery of the programme to reflect the needs of young people, schools, and parents following the crisis.

The GLA is also currently developing what a recovery plan will look like for our work in London. The details of the tender may therefore be subject to change to respond to the evolving situation for London. Any changes will be communicated to bidding organisations as quickly as possible.

The pandemic is likely to impact how schools operate, including staff-to-pupil ratios. How do you expect the number of young people and teachers to change following coronavirus?

The number of young people we are aiming to reach has been established through committed conversations between the GLA and #iwill Fund. The number of young people reached is therefore relatively established. Bidding organisations should aim to maintain the overall outputs, but also explain where the programme will need to show flexibility.

We are in regular discussion with the #iwill Fund on the programme going forward and will continue to update bidding organisations should things change.

What is Team London Young Ambassadors?

Since 2013, thousands of young people have improved their school and communities by setting up projects on issues they really care about, such as LGBTQ+, food poverty, bullying and refugees. They are also taking action on key Mayoral priorities, including air quality and the environment, gangs and knife crime, gender equality, homelessness, mental health and wellbeing, and social integration. Read more about how young Londoners are inspiring with their social action projects

Thanks to generous funding from #iwill Fund we can continue delivering the programme throughout 2020, helping us to target even more young people and able to focus on areas of social deprivation and those at risk of becoming socially excluded.

Schools that participate in the Young Ambassadors programme receive an assembly and a workshop to introduce them to volunteering. Schools also get invitations to youth summits, toolkits and campaign kits and are also eligible to apply for a Small Grant of up to £1000 to help schools create even bigger and better projects.

The programme is delivered by WE Charity.


So far, Team London Young Ambassadors has:

  • Reached 435,000 young people
  • Raised £236,000 for local causes
  • Worked in 2,100 schools
  • Worked in 50 PRUs and SEND schools
  • Logged 990 new social action projects since #iwill Fund funding began in January 2018

To date:

  • 90% of students demonstrate more responsibility towards local and global issues in their everyday life choices 
  • 86% of students are more likely to work effectively and respectfully in diverse teams 
  • 89% of students demonstrate increased leadership among their peers
  • 87% of students have developed stronger communication skills 
  • 87% of students are more likely to stand up for others that are treated unfairly because of their gender, race, religion, ability or sexual orientation 
  • 86% of teachers feel that their students feel a greater connection to their local community 

By 2020, Team London Young Ambassadors will:

  • Engage 39,000 young people
  • Help to create 2,100 youth social action projects
  • Offer 500 teacher training sessions
  • Work with over 100 alternative education providers including SEND schools and PRUs
  • Offer 45 small grants of £1,000 directly to schools

Where we are working

Get involved

The Team London Young Ambassadors programme is available free of charge to all state schools in Greater London.

To get your school involved, please contact our team on email us or call 020 7978 5225.

If your school is fee-paying and in Greater London, you can still be accredited as a Team London Young Ambassadors school. To find out how, please get in touch.

Our partners

The Young Ambassadors programme is run in partnership with WE Charity, as part of their WE Schools programme.

Team London Young Ambassadors is match funded by the GLA and the #iwill Fund. The #iwill Fund is made possible thanks to £50 million joint investment from The National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to support young people to access high quality social action opportunities.

Unilever and Spirit of 2012 have both previously funded the programme.

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