London Borough of Culture 2019 has brought together an external panel of community ambassadors to shortlist the Make it Happen grants as part of our Fellowship Funding.

The team are all individuals who are locally engaged, connected with hard to reach groups, and who have successfully led projects which have brought the community together. Here's a look at who is involved.

Stephen Barnabis

Youth Engagement Consultant developing partnerships that promote social inclusion and community cohesion

"I am the founder of The Soul Project and Tumble In The Jungle that was located on Wood Street, Walthamstow. I have over 28 years' experience engaging young people in positive activities to promote social inclusion and prevent anti-social/offending behavior. I am currently a Youth Engagement Consultant, bringing partner organisations together to achieve their projects' aims and objectives."

Lucrece Grehoua

Journalist and founder of The Pink Studio, a new studio equipped with basic production gear for young people to transfer their skills into physical projects

"So far The Pink Studio has welcomed 50 lucky people to become members at the space and create whenever they want to. We also host days in which people can come in, learn skills from photographers and film makers and take down details of new people they meet to expand their creative networks and collaborate with each other. We build unity!

"This organisation has allowed me to directly impact young people who otherwise would not have anything to put on their CVs when it comes to production work. I want to be able to inspire people under the age of 20 to think critically about social conditions."

Alison Griffin

Long-time local resident, community activist, founding trustee of The Mill and member of the Community Waltham Forest team

"I work for Community Waltham Forest, a local organisation that supports, represents and strengthens voluntary organisations, community groups, social enterprises and volunteers, through training, support, events and advocacy. I was also the founding Chair of The Mill, a community centre that was founded by residents in 2011, and am now a Trustee, serving as Treasurer. It is a welcoming and safe space for the whole community, where residents come together and are enabled to Make Things Happen for their community. 

"I have had the pleasure of wide-ranging involvement in all sorts of other initiatives in the 20 years that I have lived in the borough; as a volunteer and as an activist."

Danyal Hussain

Young Advisor for Waltham Forest Council

"I am a proud resident of Waltham Forest who started working within the council at the age of 13 as a Young Advisor. With now over 10 years' experience working within the borough, I have seen all aspects and the changes it has gone through over time.

"Young Advisors are trained consultants aged 13 to 24-years-old who bring unique expertise and knowledge about being a young person to influence strategic planning, decision-making and marketing across business, health, local authorities, justice and charity sectors. Working as a Young Advisor, I have always put the voice of young people at the forefront of any work or decision-making that I have been involved with as our youth are the future of this borough and should be heard."

Gordon Turpin

Life-long Waltham Forest resident and Chair of The Highams Park Planning Group

"Since The Highams Park Planning Group was established five years ago, we have worked on a variety of different projects aimed at bringing the community together including the annual Highams Park Christmas Fayre, Highams Park Arts Trail, live concerts and Love Hale End Library day. I think the London Borough of Culture is a fantastic initiative which will enable local people to showcase their talents and their love for the Borough as a place to live, and give them the opportunity to meet people they would not ordinarily come into contact with."

With thanks to The View in Chingford for hosting the panel meetings.