On Wednesday 28 November, we were thrilled to hold our Annual Review 2018 to showcase the numerous achievements of Urban Partners throughout the past year and to share what we will undertake in 2019.
Guests were welcomed to the 10th floor of Havas’ offices and enjoyed stunning views over Kings Cross, with chilled prosecco, bottled beers and a selection of canapes on arrival. Our personal favourites were the sweet potato with chilli avocado and the mini beef burgers. Conversation flowed as guests networked and discussed their personal highlights from the events they had attended.
The first of the evening’s speeches came from Wendy Spinks, the Chair of UP who presented the highlights of 2018. These included our inaugural sustainability conference Destination Next and the powerful role UP played as a facilitator in driving the homelessness forum, bringing together key local community groups, charities and public sector stakeholders to explore how to reduce homelessness in the area. Additionally, she recalled how we’d heard from Kings College London’s Andrew Grieve at Destination Next about how the Urban Partner’s Wellbeing Walk is now seen as a best practice case study and is being replicated across the capital.
Councillor Asima Shaikh, the Islington Cabinet Member for Inclusive Economy and Jobs followed Wendy and gave key insights about the Council’s work with Urban Partners this year, and its aspirations for partnerships in 2019. Danielle Tobin from Camden Council also reviewed the successful collaboration between UP and the STEAM initiative being rolled out into schools across the borough, with local businesses providing work experience opportunities.
Peter McDonough, Ted Baker’s Historian and UP’s Next Generation Co-ordinator, explained how the support provided by UP to local young people has grown exponentially. As just one example, by supporting over 20 schools in Camden and Islington to roll out the child online safety scheme, Safety Net, UP now sponsor the largest programme of its kind in London with a reach of 22,000 young people. Peter went on to discuss how the Next Generation Hero Project, Homework Club, continues to blossom. With Eurostar regularly hitting its capacity of 30 students every week, additional space is now being provided at Springer Nature, which allows Urban Partner employees to provide support to over 50 local students every week.
To close the speeches, Tashan Bradshaw-Brown, former Jamaican footballer and CEO of I Train How I Play, discussed how thankful he was for the mentoring scheme with Ted Baker, a UP Board Member, which provided him with a new set of skills to help him succeed further in his career.
So, what can we expect next year? We believe we are now in a position where we can provide genuine value and a lasting impact to those that live, work and visit the area. Next year we will focus on building on this, increasing our reach, scale and impact, both for member employees and also for the local area and communities. We will continue to hold fun, engaging and informative events for our networks and continue to push our involvement with charities, schools and youth centres.
Urban Partners would like to say a huge thank you to the member employees that have helped to make this such an impressive voluntary business partnership – one that is increasingly making a significant difference in the area we work in.
We hope to see you for some festive fun at our final event of the year, The Christmas Choir Showcase, on Tuesday 18 December from 7:30pm. Please buy your tickets here. All proceeds will be donated to New Horizon Youth Centre to help keep the centre open over the Christmas period.
Thank you again to those who attended and we look forward to seeing you at events in 2019.