In 2013, they chose to go frontline and develop relationships with all sorts of Londoners living at the margins of society – from homeless Ethiopian asylum-seekers to isolated older people living with dementia. Over 6 months, our Fellows developed a portfolio of enterprises and projects, established a toolkit of social innovation skills and grew an extraordinary network of mentors, advisors and collaborators.
They are still at the beginning of their social leadership journeys but, as they head off to take on new challenges, we can already see them developing into the compassionate, creative and ambitious leaders that society is crying out for.
Here are the 13 Highlights of 2013.
The year began with a snowy workshop run in partnership with the Cabinet Office and Student Hubs. We were invited to explore how best government could boost students’ and universities’ engagement in the burgeoning field of social entrepreneurship.
Our immersive kickoff bootcamp took us from hosting coffee mornings in care homes to performing in plays with homeless people with Cardboard Citizens. This was the week that set the tone for the whole year.
Bootcamp week culminated with the official launch of our inaugural programme at 10 Downing Street. Speakers included Seyi Obakin, CEO of youth homelessness charity Centrepoint, Philip Colligan, Exec Director of Nesta‘s Public Services Lab, and Matt Jones, Principal of the Globe Academy.
As our fellows moved into the third month of their Frontline Service Placements, they were challenged to come up with and manage an Innovation Project to enhance the impact of their placement hosts – like Andy’s culinary challenge for Globe Academy students (pictured) and Nadia’s ‘Booze and Views’ social at Age Concern Kingston’s Bradbury Centre.
In 2012, Year Here hatched a plan with City Year and Student Hubs to launch a new movement to boost the impact of young people’s social action efforts. 12 months later and Generation Change is launched by Nick Hurd, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Charities, Social Enterprise and Volunteering, with Rebecca Ferdinand and Louise Ellaway representing our 2013 Fellows.
In July, Hackney Council invited us to fill Hackney Town Hall square with local residents to boost community cohesion. So faculty-member, Sophie Howarth challenged our fellows to create a ‘human library’. In just 24 hours.
Our 2013 Fellows nominated Nadia and Vanessa to represent them and deliver the valediction speech at GradFest, our festival of social innovation and the culmination of a horizon-broadening, challenging and life-affirming 6 months.
Indie, Nadia, Zahra and Jack headed off to the wilds of Norfolk for Good For Nothing‘s first residential gig: Camp Nothing.
Bringing together a bunch of smart folk, Good For Nothing helps social ventures like us to develop new ideas – in this case, our idea for a gap year in your own backyard.
2013 Fellow Louise was invited to speak at TEDx on her experiences in a care home. In typical fashion, Louise gave a talk that was as funny as it was thought-provoking and erudite (…we had to google the word ‘liminal’ too).
With some wonderful new partners and an expanding faculty, we announced that Year Here is going to become a Master’s in Social Innovation. Our 2014 programme will be our ‘beta’ version of the MA and doesn’t carry a course fee thanks to the generous support of Nesta and UnLtd.
To reflect the changes to our programme, we have refreshed our brand and website – along with some beautiful black and white photography of our Fellows and the people they worked with during the programme. Check out the photos of our Christmas launch party at new canalside venue The Proud Archivist.