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E14 Community Leadership Development program

This project aims to develop in 22 potential local community leaders the listening and story-telling skills needed to create social action projects and campaign for local issues.  

Shabana Begum, a participant in the E14 Leadership Project
  • School/Institute/Department: School of Geography
  • Subjects: Geography, Community, Empowerment, Campaigning, Storytelling
  • Audience: Local Community

Run through the School of Geography at Queen Mary University of London, the E14 Community Leadership Development program works with 22 people that live, work or study in the E14 postcode of Tower Hamlets to develop them as leaders for change in their community by developing their listening and story-telling skills.

The group reflects the diversity of this part of the East End, being made up of men and women aged 16 to 69, from Muslim, Christian, Jewish and non-faith backgrounds, and representing 11 nationalities. The aim of the project is to bring people together to celebrate their achievements, find the issues that matter most to local people, and then create campaigns and projects to address these and make change.

Participants developed their skills through workshops and training sessions, learning how to tell their own story of where they have come from and where they want to go, before practicing how to draw out the stories of others. They were then tasked with speaking to 5 people from their community over the course of 3 weeks to gather stories of hope that show people from the E14 area ‘doing the right thing’. These stories were combined and collated into a book to create the story of E14, and the diverse communities that call this place home.

The book 'E14 Stories' was launched on the 30th May 2015 at George Green’s School on the Isle of Dogs. It is available online and at local Idea Stores, schools and community centres across the E14 area.

The second phase of this project began in late September 2015 and will take the issues already identified by the community: unemployment; housing; a lack of opportunities for young people; and community tensions, and work towards implementing achievable solutions to these through campaigns and social action projects.

For further information, to view the E14 'Our Stories' book, and to receive project updates, visit the project website.

The E14 Community Leadership Development program received small award funding from the Centre for Public Engagement. 

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