Children from six London schools are set to test their skills in a Dragon’s Den-style event organised by the Mayor’s Fund for London and supported by Be Open, the international think-tank founded by Russian entrepreneur and philanthropist Elena Baturina.
The City Pitch programme encourages and helps young Londoners to learn new skills, while making a real difference in their communities.
Students from each school devised community initiatives with the final six chosen to pitch their ideas to a panel of experts – including Ms Baturina and Mayor’s Fund for London CEO Matthew Patten, at City Hall on June 14 for the chance to secure up to £1,500 funding to launch and help run their projects.
The six schools and their projects are:
Stop Smoking – Argyle Primary School, Camden: Pupils at Argyle Primary School want to help their community be healthier and cleaner by running a campaign to encourage teenagers to stop smoking
Rad Road Rangers – Elmhurst Primary School, Forest Gate: Demolish dangerous driving and save lives! Elmhurst Primary School aims to launch a road safety awareness campaign by creating a memorable video to share online and through their local council
The Green Team – Ferry Lane Primary School, Tottenham Hale: Ferry Lane Primary School pupils would like to hold a river clean up and launch a campaign to help prevent pollution and protect local wildlife
Tooting Community Time – Sellincourt Primary, Tooting: It’s time to get off technology and get outside! Sellincourt Primary School pupils want to stage ‘phenomenal’ family events in Tooting utilising local areas such as the library and Tooting Common
We Are Healthy – Rhyl Primary School, Belsize Park: Rhyl Primary School pupils plan to promote mental and physical health in their school community with meditation and yoga sessions for young people
Families in Need – New North Academy, Islington: Pupils from New North Academy plan to partner with their local food bank to provide essential items for families living in poverty, such as school uniform and children’s books.
This is the second City Pitch of the 2017/2018 academic year. There will be one further City Pitch project taking place in 2018. The programme is run by the Mayor’s Fund for London, and this year it also incorporates a Leadership module involving even more London students, designed to help them prepare to be leaders in their communities and beyond.
It offers young people the chance to develop important leadership, teamwork, planning and presentational skills, with professional mentors on hand during every stage to help them prepare and hone their proposals and pitches. All projects must present tangible ideas to improve their communities and make London an even better place to live for the next generation.
Says Be Open’s founder Elena Baturina: “When I sat on the judging panel of the first City Pitch project I was amazed, not only by the intelligent thoughts that the children put into devising their projects, but also at how well they were able to present their ideas. These children make up the next generation of young Londoners, so it’s essential that we help them to understand how they can work together to improve their own lives, and of those in their communities. City Pitch helps them take creative community project ideas and turn them into real social enterprises, a major step in creating London’s leaders of tomorrow.”
Pictured are pupils from Sheringham Primary School who received £1,500 from City Pitch towards Go GIrls, their project to promote gender equality in their school and community. They also recieved an extra £1,500 from BE Open's Elena Baturina, pictured right, after impressing her with their presentation skills and forward-thinking idea.