City Leaders

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

Young leader at training sessionOur 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 organisation and pitch for funding to for a community project 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.

“We really rate the City Leaders programme and it has turned the youth leadership and quality of output with this year’s project from good to great, thank you so much.”

Youth worker, City Leaders group 2018/19

Funded by:


How does it work?

We will take groups of young people through three progressive stages, starting from where they are at, and challenging them to further their skills at each stage. Examples below are taken from award winners from the previous years of City Leaders.

  1. At Team stage, young people work together to run a group activity and learn about teamwork. Hackney Quest’s young people were curious to learn about each other’s diverse backgrounds when they first met as a team, so they decided to go to an all world buffet to celebrate food from the different cultures represented in their group.
  2. At Club stage, young people develop and lead a project to improve the youth organisation they attend. The team of young people from The Winch formed a research group called “Take Back The Power” and decided to use the funding from their club stage pitch to start a youth-led podcast on youth violence, which gives them a safe space to talk, lead the script and change the narrative around this emotional topic and an opportunity to share real ideas for solutions.
  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 a range of exciting venues across London. For their community project the group from Carney’s Community will work with George Shearing, a local youth organisation for young people aged 11-25 with special educational needs and physical impairments by delivering boxing sessions, putting on some DJ/music events with them and running a course on fixing bikes. They also want to create a photo exhibition of both the Carney’s and George Shearing young people to showcase how their perceptions have changed over the course of working together.
  4. At the final stage, called ‘Futures’, we work directly with a group of 20-25 young people who’ve shown the greatest commitment through the Team, Club and Community Leaders stages of the programme. These aspiring leaders take part in a three month leadership programme 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 opportunity to lead on their own project or campaign.

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

To register your interest or to talk more about the opportunity, please contact Robbie Cheyne, Youth Action Delivery Manager –


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