City Leaders

Delivering progressive social action and leadership opportunities to young people across London

Young leader at training sessionNow in it’s sixth year, our flagship social action programme takes teams of young people and provides the support and structure for them to build their team work skills, create opportunities in their youth organisations and pitch for funding for community projects on issues important to them.

City Leaders is an open access programme, encouraging and enabling young people to design and deliver a project or campaign on a issue that is important to them and within their community.

“Enabled us to take young people on a journey where they have experienced new challenges, improved, developed , gained confidence and now hungry for more. This is a priceless achievement for the organisation.”

Youth worker, City Leaders group 2020/21 

“…I have been listened to and my ideas were discussed”

Young person, City Leaders group 2020/21

Funded by:       


How does it work?

We will train member organisations to  take groups of young people through three progressive stages, starting from where they are at, and challenging them to further develop their skills at each stage. The stages are outlined here. Examples of projects below are taken from the previous year of City Leaders.

  1. At Team Stage, young people work together to run a group activity and learn about teamwork. This year some groups merged stages to allow them to run the projects through the pandemic but were flexible to ensure all members were able to complete their projects.  Fitzrovia Youth in Action created a quiz to bond and a  Jamboard to start to plannning ideas. To keep it social the group had vouchers to eat food together for their Team Stage.
  2. At Club Stage, young people develop and lead a project to improve the youth organisation they attend.  Young people at Lambeth Elfrida Rathbone planned and held a Virtual Youth Club Bake Off. They sent ingredients to 20 young people at their club who entered and gave a prize of a voucher to the winner.
  3. At Community Stage young people design their own project to have a positive impact on their local community. They pitch for the resources and support needed to deliver the project at an event hosted at a range of exciting venues across London.  This year pitches were held online but Community Stage projects have continued to have a great impact under Covid-safe restrictions. The group of young people on the  youth commitee at Surrey Docks Farm held a virtual festival with sheep shearing demos, competitions and live streams from the farm, showing lambs and goat kids playing and advertised through social media and YouTube. When restrictions eased, they engaged local community and charity groups working with disadvantaged young people, inviting them to the farm for farm tours and workshops led by the young people.

After the Community Stage, youth workers will be able to nominate young people to join our summer leadership programme, called ‘Futures’. We work directly with a group of 20-25 young people who’ve shown the greatest commitment and leadership potential through the Team, Club and Community stages of the programme. These aspiring leaders take part in leadership programme, over the Summer, tailored to their needs and designed to help them learn about power and influence in London, understand themselves and how to work with others better and develop their own idea with the opportunity to lead on their own project or campaign.  This year young people began creation of campaigns which have led to the Coming of Age projects with our Youth Board at London Youth

We will continue to work within the context of Corona virus this year,  adapting and flexing wherever needed.

I’m a London Youth member – how can I get involved?

We are now recruiting for City Leaders 2022. To register your interest please apply using the button below by 4th March 2022 or to talk more about the opportunity, please contact Shaz Mert, Youth Action Delivery Officer –


You can read the evaluation of the pilot year of City Leaders here.