The Creating a Better London Award

Compass Collective 

Compass Collective assists unaccompanied minor refugees and young people seeking asylum to build resilience and integrate into the UK through theatre, music and film projects and arts-led professional development programmes. The aim of their work is to strengthen communities, build resilience and help people seeking sanctuary integrate into the UK. 

Staff at Compass Collective have lived experience of seeking asylum. Their Compass Ambassadors programme enables young people to become Associate Artists and develop their leadership skills.  


Magpie Dance 

Magpie Dance is the UK’s leading dance charity for people with learning disabilities. They believe that a learning disability should not be a barrier to personal and artistic success. Through dance, participants gain life, social and communication skills with added health and wellbeing benefits. 

Magpie Dance’s core staff team bringing decades of experience to their roles. Their Ambassadors undertake leadership training within Magpie Dance. This can lead to taking on paid work as class assistants, or as part of the delivery team. They have a Shadow Board comprised of people with learning disabilities. 


Mosaic LGBT+ Young Persons’ Trust 

Their mission is to support, educate and inspire young LGBT+ persons and those around them. They do this by providing accessible activities, programmes and services that aim to empower community members, provide essential resources, advocate for young LGBT+ rights, and embrace, promote and endorse the diversity of young persons.  

All front facing staff have lived experience of being LGBT+. Mosaic have a flat participation structure so that all participants are equally listened to, and have received a Jack Petchey Award for facilitating engagement with young people.  


Rainbow Club – Action for Refugees In Lewisham 

AFRIL was founded in 2006 in order to support asylum seekers, vulnerable migrants and refugees in south east London. They work with their service users to ensure that they provide services that meet their real, complex needs.  

AFRIL’s class teachers all have their own lived experience of migration. When students move on into Year 7, many of them return to support as Youth Volunteers’ at AFRIL. This helps them learn responsibility and leadership and helps bridge the gap as they move into secondary school. 


Shpresa Programme 

Shpresa Programme (Shpresa) is a charity that promotes the participation and contribution of Albanian-speaking refugees and migrants in the UK. Through their services and projects, they encourage and support individuals and families to play a positive and active role in British society. 

All Shpresa’s staff and volunteers have lived experience of the issues faced by their users. They encourage young people to participate in their organisation through consultation prior to projects and are represented on their board of trustees. 


Sycamore Trust 

Sycamore Trust U.K. is a charity based in Barking and Dagenham which supports parents, carers and individuals for whom Autistic Spectrum Disorders and/or Learning Difficulties are part of everyday life. They offer a range of specialised services designed to support families, educate the community and empower individuals of all ages to flourish and be valued members of society. 

Sycamore’s staff team includes autistic people and relatives of autistic people. Young people who participate in their programmes are invited to be part of a steering group where they can advise the next intake of young people. 


TAG Youth Club for Disabled Young People 

TAG Youth Club meets weekly at Ham Youth Centre and aims to empower and optimise the potential of young people aged 15 to 25 who have a disability. This is achieved through a range of informal and experiential learning, both at the youth centre and in the community. TAG is a parent-free zone which provides children and young people with somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to.  

One third of TAG’s trustees are parents, plus many youth workers and volunteers have family members with disabilities.  Young people rate sessions and provide their opinions. A panel of young people contribute to plans which are shared at TAG’s AGM. 


Youth Realities 

Youth Realities is a youth-led charity based in Barnet, addressing teenage relationship abuse through creative education and specialist, survivor-centred support. They’re on a mission to educate, empower and support young people through services centred around prevention, intervention and healing from abuse and violence. 

The team at Youth Realities is community and young person-led, including founded by a 19-year-old survivor (now CEO), full delivery team under 30, Trustees and core team with lived experience of the issues Youth Realities address, being women-led, and reflective of the ethnic make-up of their community. They include young people in all levels of their decision making.