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13 October 2021

Local charities join together with students and staff for King's Civic Challenge

Community partners to collaborate with King’s to develop solutions to the challenges our local boroughs face

Illustration of people building a tower of coloured bricks, with text saying BE A LOCAL CHANGEMAKER

Applications are now open for King’s Civic Challenge, which invites local charities to work with King’s students and staff to develop fresh perspectives on some of the challenges facing our home boroughs. 

Designed in collaboration with our partners in Lambeth, Southwark and Westminster, and now in its third year, King’s Civic Challenge teams have explored issues such as social isolation, the digital divide, mental health and food insecurity in our local communities.

We’ve worked with our boroughs to identify where local needs could best be supported by King’s strengths 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.

Baroness Deborah Bull, Vice President Communities & National Engagement

Last year, King’s Civic Challenge saw one group of King's students partner with local charity, The Dot Collective. Together they developed ‘A Map to You’, which received the arts and health award.

Spotlighting the person not the dementia, this unique storytelling project has supported those living with dementia in south London, and their carers, to rediscover their creativity and enhance their wellbeing.

The insights and fresh thinking that our group of students brought to our King’s Civic Challenge project helped us to shape and develop this distinctive community-led programme. Our partnership with King’s College London and its students has had transformative impact on local families living with dementia.

Laura Harling, Artistic Director, The Dot Collective

As part of King’s Civic Challenge, students and staff join together with a community partner, supported by an alumni mentor. Teams take part in training to generate and refine their ideas, before pitching to a panel of judges for the chance to win funding to make the project a reality. 

Joseph Lam, a Data Scientist at the Institute for Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, was part of The Soul Shack LDN CIC team which won the Community Resilience Award during last year’s Challenge.

The Shoul Shack LDN CIC asked their team to explore food insecurity in Lambeth. Together they developed a food pantry to allow families in need to purchase groceries worth £15 at a cost of £3. It will also promote food education, knowledge and hygiene in the community while empowering local young people by recruiting them as volunteers.  

The King’s Civic Challenge has allowed me to connect with like-minded students and staff who are enthused about bringing ideas together to solve local challenges.

Joseph Lam, Data Scientist at the Institute for Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience

Learn more about King’s Civic Challenge or join a Discover session for students and staff. | @KingsCollegeLon | #KingsLocal