Brixton Windmill was shortlisted to pitch for a local social impact prize at the first ever Kings Civic Challenge, when local charities, students and staff came together to outline their proposals at City Hall earlier this month.
Addressing students, charities and their supporters at City Hall, Baroness Deborah Bull, Vice President and Vice Principal of King’s College London, emphasised the university’s commitment to working in partnership with the university’s home boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark and Westminster: “We’ve worked with our boroughs to identify where local needs could best be supported by King’s strength and expertise. King’s Civic Challenge exemplifies all of this. It recognises that by working together we can do even more to address local challenges and opportunities.”
Team Windmill – FoWG members Sonam and Jean and King’s students Helena, Lucy, Palomi and Sara – worked together over four months to develop their plan to pilot a one-week out-of-school education project for young people. We were one of the 10 charities selected to make their pitch at City Hall
The Windmill project recognised that Lambeth has the second highest rate of student disengagement among London’s 33 boroughs and that Lambeth Council reports that 85% of the difference in achievement and engagement in school is driven by factors beyond school gates. So the project the team put together was for a five-day out-of-school education programme to engage and excite young people, which focuses on relevant contemporary issues as well as innovative, community-based, socially just solutions.
Recognising that the target group of young people aged 14-18 is difficult to reach, the team emphasised that the programme will be hands-on, practical and collaborative, utilising the unique setting of Brixton’s 204-year-old windmill and the newly built community building in Windmill Gardens.
Concluding their City Hall pitch, Sara said: “With this project we will provide a complementary, multidisciplinary education programme, founded within the community. It will be the perfect stepping-stone to help youth feel heard, to embark into a productive and successful adult life.
“We are invested in Brixton, its heritage, its youth and its future.”
Although Team Windmill were not one of the projects that was awarded funding, the feedback from the City Hall judges was positive. After our pitch Palomi congratulated the group on a “a job well done!” adding: “We worked hard… I really gained a lot from this, particularly through our teamwork.”
Helena agreed: “I think we can all be proud of what we have achieved – a proposal that can be developed.”
In a post-pitch email to all Kings Civic Challenge participants, Baroness Bull wrote: “Every team will now be supported to find their next step – whether they made it to the final or not. This support includes brokering connections within King’s or our local boroughs, signposting potential funding, offering student support through research projects or offering business consultancy.”
The Friends also learned a great deal from this collaboration and feel confident it will continue. We really enjoyed working with our King’s student group and want to thank all the team at King’s Local for their support and training. We look forward to future collaborations once we get through the unprecedented times we currently face.