City Pitch, July 13

London students showcase community and business ideas in bid for funds from Mayor’s Fund for London and BE OPEN’s City Pitch project

Secondary school pupils from six London schools impressed a panel of business and charity heads with their community-spirited ideas at City Hall in the finale of this academic year’s City Pitch programme.  

Organised by the Mayor’s Fund for London and BE OPEN, the international think-tank founded by Russian entrepreneur and philanthropist Elena Baturina, City Pitch encourages and helps young Londoners to learn new skills, while making a real difference in their communities.

Students from schools across the capital devised socially-minded enterprises, with the final six chosen to pitch their ideas to the Dragon’s Den-style line-up comprising MFL Chief Executive Matthew Patten, Olga Luzhkova of BE OPEN, Trudy Killcullen of the Jack Petchey Foundation, Jamie McCloskey of snack brand Love Corn and Bilal Khan of the charity and youth empowerment movement WE.

The judges were so impressed with the ideas and presentation skills of each school that they handed out the full £1,500 of funding to every team. The six schools and projects were:

  • Brighten Up – the pupils from Chestnut Grove Academy plan to team up with local youth centres to create a mental health day.
  • Flower the Youth – the girls from Harris Academy Bermondsey want to create an enjoyable, multi-use garden for young people. 
  • People for Pride – Rushcroft Foundation School pupils want to raise awareness of LGBTQ issues, and reduce bullying through running a Pride Week.
  • Run Forest Run – the boys from Capital Foundation School propose setting up an inner-city sports tournament that will also help to tackle pollution and obesity.
  • Tea Party – Capital City Academy. These West London pupils plan to bridge the gap between the generations in their community by holding tea parties.
  • The Great Plastic Project – the boys from Westminster City School want to help solve the plastic crisis by running a campaign to reduce the use of plastic in their community.

Says BE OPEN’s founder Elena Baturina: “With the encouragement to think about the world around them and the freedom to develop their own ideas about how to deal with life’s challenges, young people prove time and again that as the business and community leaders of tomorrow the future is safe in their hands. The ideas put forward by these schools are excellent projects and deserve to be brought to life.”