One good thing Boris did

From a Telegraph news feature on the Mayor’s Music Fund:

‘There was a kid I met four years ago at City Hall,’ he says. ‘He won a music scholarship and he went on to get an academic scholarship to study at Christ’s Hospital school in Sussex and, as a result, his life has been totally transformed.

‘That story sticks in my mind. But there are thousands of young people across the capital whose lives are better now than they were when I came into office. So if you’re asking me for my legacy, hand on heart, there it is: confidence and social mobility. And I’m very, very proud of it.’

That ‘kid’ was Emmanuel Odujebe, now 13, who became one of the first children to be sponsored by the Mayor’s Music Fund (MMF), launched in 2011 to support some of the most musically talented children from the least privileged backgrounds in the capital.

They were provided with an instrument, weekly small-group tuition during the school day and, crucially, constant personal mentoring.

In addition, there was compulsory attendance at music ensembles on Saturday mornings, as well as regular opportunities to perform in concerts alongside professional musicians. The initiative was the brainchild of Johnson and one of his senior advisors, Veronica Wadley.

In that first year, 100 of the poorest children from 32 London boroughs were nominated by their music teachers to receive the four-year scholarships…

Read on here.

boris veronica emmanuel

Johnson, Wadley, with Emmanuel Odujebe, earlier this year. photo: Paul J Cochrane

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