Youngsters ‘Say NO to Knives’ and ‘NObesity’ as part of City Pitch, a dragon’s den style leadership programme which encourages children to step up and deliver social action ideas in their community. City Pitch is an initiative led by social mobility charity, the Mayor’s Fund for London, in partnership with the BE OPEN Foundation.
Armed with business plans and budgets, the final top six schools were invited to attend City Hall and present their entrepreneurial projects to a panel of judges for a chance to win up to £1,500 of funding.
Proposals included creating ‘Homeless Survival Packs’ for the winter period, and ‘Go Girls’, a campaign on gender equality and female empowerment. Other ideas focused on providing gift packages for terminally-ill children and pairing up the elderly community with local animal shelters to combat loneliness.
Each group presented to the judging panel that included a cross-section of industry leaders: Mark Whelan, CCO, Havas UK; Lawson Muncaster, Joint Founder & Managing Director, City A.M.; Temitope Moses, Education & Youth Team GLA; Matthew Patten, Chief Executive, Mayor’s Fund for London and Elena Baturina, Founder of BE OPEN and Trustee, Mayor’s Fund for London.
Each school received £1500 to deliver their project, with Sheringham Primary School, Newham receiving an extra £1500 from BE OPEN for their continuing work on female empowerment.
Matthew Patten, Chief Executive, Mayor’s Fund for London said: “Young Londoners are often seen, but rarely heard despite having some of the best ideas and clearest insights. Thanks to the support of the BE OPEN Foundation, the young people today have been given the opportunity to voice and build on their aspirations, and develop their leadership and entrepreneurial skills to help them craft lasting contributions to their communities.”
Elena Baturina, Founder of BE OPEN and Trustee, Mayor’s Fund for London said: “We are very excited to be supporting this amazing initiative that helps young people make real differences to their communities and the city in general in meaningful and material ways. The whole ethos of BE OPEN is about inspiring and encouraging people to find creative ways of improving their environments, helping them to make a real change to our lives. We are incredibly impressed by the ideas and the commitment of all the participants, and are proud to be helping them bring those ideas to life.”