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Civic Challenge teams pitch for funding to make their ideas a reality

Teams of students, staff and local community partners prepare for the Grand Final at Science Gallery London

King's Civic Challenge 2021/22 teams

Eleven teams of King’s students, staff and community partners have teamed up to address some of the challenges faced by our local communities in Lambeth, Southwark and Westminster. The groups, each supported by one of King’s expert alumni, have been working since December 2021 to co-create new and innovative ways to tackle the issues identified by the community partners themselves.

The Boundless Theatre team is hoping to improve the mental health and wellbeing of 15 to 25-year-olds through art and theatre by creating a temporary portable theatre space that would support young artists, aiming to build a creative community and inspire a sense of belonging.

Another group, who are collaborating with InSpire at St Peter’s, wants to tackle the issue of food poverty by providing affordable, healthy meals for vulnerable local communities, while simultaneously educating parents on good nutrition and upskilling young people through practical sessions on budgeting, healthy eating options and food hygiene.

King’s Civic Challenge offers unique opportunities for our students and staff to collaborate with community groups in our home boroughs, developing ideas for positive change in partnership. At the start of the Civic Challenge journey, our local partners set out the challenge or issue they’d like to explore, sharing their knowledge and insights and working together to co-create innovative solutions with King’s staff and students. We look forward to seeing their ideas brought to life at the Grand Final. – Baroness Deborah Bull, Vice President (Communities & National Engagement)

Throughout their Civic Challenge journey, teams have taken part in workshops focusing on idea generation, communications, project management, evaluation and pitching skills. Participants have also had the opportunity to attend a social event, form friendships and create unforgettable memories.

The King’s Civic Challenge was a wonderful and honestly life changing experience! I have gained so much confidence and learnt so much. The experience opened so many doors for me and I’m so proud to now be a mentor myself to students who are from widening participation backgrounds like me. – Kaynath Rahman, student BSc Child Nursing & King’s Civic Challenge participant (2020/21)

All teams submitted their final video pitches and proposals ahead of the Grand Final and a panel of senior figures from our home boroughs and King’s will select which of the teams will win funding to make their ideas a reality.

The winners, each receiving £5,000 funding and additional project support, will be announced at the Grand Final on Wednesday 27 April. This year, judges will award four prizes aligned with the mutual priorities King’s identified with local communities: health and wellbeing, education and attainment, business and enterprise and community resilience. Three additional prizes will be awarded, for art, science and health, multiple perspectives and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The event will take place at Science Gallery London, King’s interdisciplinary hub for discovery in art, science and health, before it reopens to the public in June.

Register here to watch the livestream of the Grand Final.

King’s Civic Challenge 2021/22 final projects

Age UK Lambeth – Befriending Scheme: Strategies to attract the elderly to volunteer and improve intragenerational friendships within Lambeth | WATCH THE PITCH

Age UK Lambeth aims to reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation among the elderly in Lambeth by recruiting them to volunteer in their Befriending Scheme. The team proposes a 3-step marketing strategy to attract, connect and build confidence in the elderly.

Boundless Theatre – Boundless Boxes | WATCH THE PITCH

This unique project is an initiative to improve the mental health and wellbeing of 15 to 25-year-olds by creating a temporary portable theatre structure and hosting various cultural programming and creative activities.

Carers’ Hub – Lambeth Young Carers Card | WATCH THE PITCH

Lambeth Young Carers Card seeks to identify, support, and connect young carers (aged 11-17) in Lambeth to information and help navigating services. The project will involve young carers themselves in the co-production and design of the Young Carers Card.

ClearCommunityWeb CIC – Safety Surgeries: Interactive workshops to help people feel safer online | WATCH THE PITCH

The aim of Safety Surgeries is to help to reduce anxiety about technology and online safety for older people, vulnerable adults and carers in London and to empower them to feel safe, stay connected and improve their overall wellbeing.

Coin Street Centre Trust / Colombo Community & Sports Centre – Reimagining SE1’s Colombo Centre as our community’s Wellbeing Hub | WATCH THE PITCH

This project seeks to reimagine SE1’s Colombo Centre as the community’s Wellbeing Hub. In collaboration with local residents, the community centre will conduct research and co-produce a Hub that will benefit the health and wellbeing of people in Southwark and Lambeth.

Engage with China – China Challenge Day: Diversity & inclusion for British Born Chinese in Lambeth, Southwark & Westminster schools | WATCH THE PITCH

China Challenge Day aims to provide an opportunity for British Born Chinese to feel valued, respected and proud of their cultural ethnicity. The team behind the project will incorporate research and survey analysis to deliver improved China Challenge Days in Lambeth, Southwark and Westminster schools.

Housing for Women – THIS IS MY HOME | WATCH THE PITCH

Housing for Women seek to empower women, provide them with a safe space to speak up, and share their stories about what home means to them. The project aims to build new meaningful relationships and create a sense of community.

InSpire at St Peter’s – ‘CAFÉ CRYPT’AT INSPIRE | WATCH THE PITCH

‘CAFÉ CRYPT’AT INSPIRE hopes to tackle poverty and food insecurity in Walworth by providing affordable, healthy meals for the most vulnerable local communities, while simultaneously upskilling young people and educating parents on good nutrition.

London Nightline – Saving London Nightline: increasing funding and achieving financial sustainability | WATCH THE PITCH

London Nightline, a mental-health support service provided for and by students, has developed a project which will help the organisation achieve financial sustainability by diversifying its funding, strengthening existing income and securing funding from companies, individuals, foundations, trusts and current affiliates.

The Restorative Justice for All International Institute – RJ4ALL Community Centre Cook-Off | WATCH THE PITCH

The RJ4ALL Institute aims to organise a cook-off to increase community engagement and create a vibrant future for the centre as a place where residents can meet, find support and cultivate the yearned-for sense of community spirit. The team plan to provide an event blueprint that the centre can use again to foster engagement and bring new people to the centre.

The Elephant Group – Healthcare Heroes | WATCH THE PITCH

Healthcare Heroes seeks to encourage Year 12 students in London to explore pathways to fulfilling careers in the health sector: Students, teachers, and parents will have the opportunity to meet a variety of medical professionals and healthcare. The programme will run regular events to help students and teachers learn more about healthcare roles.