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London is one of the most diverse places in the world, yet Londoners spend relatively little time with people from other backgrounds. To make the most of the city’s diversity, the team at City Hall is encouraging Londoners from different backgrounds to connect with each other. In 2016, Matthew Ryder was appointed as London’s first ever Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Social Mobility, and Community Engagement. In his role, he is working to create a stronger, more united city – particularly through volunteering.

Volunteering can break down barriers between people, helping to bring communities together and boost social mobility through skills-based service. Volunteering not only builds confidence, but helps the next generation reach their full potential – regardless of their background, race, religion, or gender. Volunteering engages communities and creates active citizens by giving them a stake in society, creating a more productive, healthy, and prosperous city.

Improving London’s social integration is one of the mayor’s top priorities. He describes it as one of the 21st century’s biggest challenges and has created a strategy to address it.

Read the Team London Young Ambassadors, 2Work, and HeadStart London Blueprints to learn more.

London has been a member of the Cities of Service coalition since 2011, when former Mayor Boris Johnson signed the Declaration of Service.

Mayor Sadiq Khan

Prior to being elected mayor in 2016, Sadiq Khan was a solicitor specializing in human rights and was a councillor in the London Borough of Wandsworth from 1994 to 2006. In 2005, Mayor Khan was elected member of parliament for Tooting. He was appointed Minister of State for Communities in 2008 and later became Minister of State for Transport, becoming the first Muslim and first Asian to attend Cabinet. He was also Crossrail Minister. In 2013, Mayor Khan was appointed Shadow Minister for London, and in 2015 he led the Labour Party campaign in London in the General Election.