Hackney, Haringey and Tower Hamlets will be among 15 areas to see a massive training drive for scouts and other youth organisations, the government will announce.
Communities and Local Government minister Andrew Stunell is due to officially unveil the project in Tottenham within the coming weeks, in partnership with Youth United, a coalition of youth groups from across the country.
£10 million in taxpayer funding will go to train volunteers 2,700 to marshal youngsters away from crime and towards organisations like the Boys’ Brigade, St John’s Ambulance, Scouts, Girl Guiding UK, the Army Cadets and the Air Training Corps.
Stunell is hoping to provide 10,000 more places for youths who might otherwise end up in prison or in care. Tottenham will be the first area to host new clubs, with the programme expected to roll out across Hackney next year. Space in fire stations and public buildings could be used to run the clubs.
Stunell told the Times: “If you go into middle class areas you find middle class scout groups and other uniformed youth clubs, but if you go to Tottenham they are much thinner on the ground.
“Uniformed organisations give youngsters life skills, and, for some, the vital extra ingredient for them to make a success of their lives. They teach them to contribute to society rather than taking from it.”