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City Leaders

“I was comfortable and felt free to express opinions with no judgement.” -City Leaders participant.

City Leaders was a youth leadership and social action programme delivered by Creative Opportunities. Over the course of the project’s first year we worked with a number of students from City and Islington College in North London with the aim of empowering them with new skills and knowledge through community action.

Our City Leaders were given the chance to express their views and ideas about how to bring change to their community. In 2016, the City Leaders decided they wanted to focus on homelessness in their local area. We provided them with the resources and education to bring their campaign on homelessness to life through regular workshops on topics like filmmaking, designing presentations, pitching for funding and carrying out research on a campaign issue.

As part of the campaign, the team created 40 waterproof rucksacks, each filled with food, toiletries and clothes, that were donated to Crisis. The staff at Crisis gave the City Leaders a tour of their office and talked them through the vital work that Crisis does to support homeless people. 

We returned to City and Islington College in 2017 to deliver City Leaders for the second time. This time, the group decided to run a social action campaign on the topic of mental health as a way to bring the local community together. 

After researching relevant organisations the group decided to support Luna Children’s Charity, an organisation which supports children affected by psychological trauma caused by conflict, violence or disaster.

The team hosted a fantastic charity dinner in aid of Luna at the Mildmay Community Centre. The evening brought together people from across the local area and was a huge success-raising over £740! This money was used by Luna to send a team of 3 trainers to refugee camps in Jordan, where they taught 21 practitioners CATT – Children’s Accelerated Trauma Technique. 

Motivated by the success of this event, the group decided to run some activities at the Manor Gardens Summer Wellbeing Festival, where they interacted with almost 100 children and parents, encouraging people to come and “paint what makes you happy”. They also hosted a ‘guess how many sweets are in the jar’ activity in order to fundraise for Manor Gardens. The festival was very well attended by the local community.

You can read a blog about City Leaders Year 1 by clicking here, and City Leaders Year 2 by clicking here.

Crisis is the UK national charity for homeless people. You can find out more about Crisis on their website by clicking here.

Manor Gardens is a multicultural, multi-ethnic health and wellbeing charity based in Upper Holloway in Islington, London. You can find out more about Manor Gardens on their website by clicking here.

Luna Children’s Charity (also known as ACT International) helps communities treat children with trauma and PTSD. You can find out more about their work on their website by clicking here.

Photos from the project (with image descriptions) are below!