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Following the success of the 2009/10 school programme we decided to join
forces with some local partners and deliver it again in new schools.
Working with Citizenship Foundation, an education and participation charity,
and Westfield Stratford City, we delivered and facilitated the ‘Make it our Future’ schools programme.
Four secondary schools within a close proximity to the Olympic Park were selected to participate in the six month long programme, which included a visit to the Park, assemblies, workshops and culminated in a presentation made by students from all four participating schools for a suggested community event to be held in the future Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to a panel of judges including the Communities Minster,
Bob Neill MP.
‘Make it our Future’ aimed to:
Fourteen members of staff volunteered from across the Legacy Company to participate in the programme. They delivered assemblies and workshops, working with over 350 young people.
The programme comprised of:
After months of preparation, building up a picture of their community, how it operated, what they valued, reviewing what regeneration was occurring and the suitable means by which they could seek democratic redress, the teams were ready for their final presentation to the judges.
In front of a high profile panel consisting of Bob Neill MP (Chair), Sir Keith Ajegbo (Citizenship Foundation), John Burton (Westfield Stratford City), and Nick Bitel (Legacy Company Board Member), a class from each school presented an innovative idea for a community event to be held in the future Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
The ideas from all of the young people were interesting, dynamic and worthy of further investigation by the Legacy Company. However the idea that stood out was from Lammas School in Waltham Forest who took home the winning trophy. Having researched their community rigorously and identified an event that would collectively unite their community in a common goal of civic pride, the winning idea from Lammas School was a two day community festival, celebrating cultural diversity and encouraging community cohesion.
“Our idea was to have a community event and get everyone together. I have really enjoyed working with these guys [the volunteers from the Legacy Company] and the rest of the group.
“Today I really enjoyed working with my peers and the teachers – it was a really good experience.”
“Today has been a really great opportunity to see the excitement and enthusiasm of young people in East London to get involved in the Olympics, not just as a sporting event but as a regeneration project and a legacy for prosperity and growth.
“The ideas and appetite of the young people here to have their voices heard and be engaged in the regeneration of their area just goes to show how much people can bring to the development of their communities when given the opportunity.
“It’s local people who know their area best, not Whitehall, and it is their input that will transform paper plans, plots of land and piles of bricks into vibrant communities which people want to be part of.”
“It is vital that young people share their ideas on what they would like to see in and around the future Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and Westfield Stratford City, and that we embrace these ideas which will give young people a sense of pride and ownership in where they live. A well programmed series of events will help create a vibrant, exciting destination.
“By going into schools, we can get pupils involved in what is happening around them and they can inspire others to think about the opportunities that are coming to East London.
“These young people were so proud to be a part of the day and it was evident that the presence of a Minister, Directors, Board Members and the audience instilled a sense of value in their work. It’s hard sometimes to mobilise young people and get them thinking about their futures, but through this programme the value of taking ownership over their communities is starting to have resonance. For the fifty students we had in the room, they left better informed, better prepared and better positioned for the changes that are happening in their communities and that is thanks to the thirty volunteers from Westfield and the Legacy Company.”