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26 February 2020

King's Civic Challenge finalists announced

Ten teams of students, staff and local charities have been shortlisted for the Grand Final of King’s Civic Challenge at London’s City Hall.

King's Civic Challenge
King's Civic Challenge

The groups have been working together since October to co-create solutions to some of the challenges faced by our local communities in Lambeth, Southwark and Westminster. Each was asked to bring new ideas and fresh thinking to address specific concerns set out by their partner charity. 

Three students worked with Rathbone in West Norwood. Their project, Rathbone Community Outreach, seeks to tackle social isolation among adults with learning disabilities by setting up tailored volunteering opportunities within local charities. In doing so they aim to reduce loneliness, improve mental health and establish stronger community ties amongst participants. 

We hope Rathbone Community Outreach will create a lasting legacy, leading to an increase in volunteering opportunities for disabled individuals in Lambeth and resulting in improved health, friendships and, in some cases, employment.

Andrew Preston, Chief Executive Officer, Rathbone

Another group, Girls United, aims to provide young women with equal access to sport while broadening opportunities for them to participate in education and the economy. Their proposal explained that just 10 per cent of girls aged 13-16 meet recommended activity levels daily, and young women from low socioeconomic backgrounds are, on average, less active than their peers. They emphasised that this is a particular challenge in Lambeth where a third of the population live within areas of significant deprivation.

The Girls United team explored ways to inspire sports participation amongst girls of secondary school age. Their project, #FindYourGame, will combat inactivity amongst young women across Lambeth, Southwark and Westminster through outdoor workshops aimed at raising career aspirations. Featuring activities and sport, the workshops empower young women to feel more confident and develop leadership skills, while realising the benefits of sport to their personal journies.

King’s Civic Challenge came from our staff and students who asked for a new way to respond to the needs of our local communities. It’s really important that the issues each team seeks to address are identified by the local charities themselves. But it’s not consultancy – the King’s community works side by side with charity partners across our home boroughs to unpick these challenges and co-create new solutions.

James Tortise-Crawford, Head of Local Partnerships, King’s College London.

Brought together at a matchmaking event in the Exchange at Bush House, the Civic Challenge teams have taken part in training and workshop sessions on topics including idea generation and evaluation to help them develop and refine their ideas.  

The finalists will pitch their ideas in the Chamber at London’s City Hall on Friday 13 March in front of a panel of senior figures from our home boroughs and King’s, hoping to win funding to make their ideas a reality.  

Our project seeks to empower young women across the King's home boroughs through a celebration of sport and its many benefits. We are excited to share our project with the judges and hope to positively impact our local community.

Laura Walmsley, Girls United team member and King’s postgraduate student (Arts & Cultural Management MA, Faculty of Arts & Humanities)

'The Grand Final is about awarding funding to make Civic Challenge ideas a reality, but what’s really exciting is that we will be working with all the teams to identify ways to take their ideas forward,' James Tortise-Crawford, Head of Local Partnerships, King’s College London.

The ten finalist teams are working with the Cardinal Hume Centre, Carers' Hub Lambeth, Friends of Windmill Gardens, Girls United, GlobalGirl Media UK, London Youth, Mousetrap Theatre Projects, Rathbone Society, Southwark Pensioners' Centre and Theatre Peckham. 

Places available to staff and students to attend King’s Civic Challenge final at City Hall. Enter the ballot here. 

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