The London Islamic School student Youth Travel Ambassadors (YTA) represented the school at the Transport for London Campaign Junction 2019 on Thursday the 14th February 2019. The Dragons den style presentations took place at the TfL Office in Stratford Olympic Park where students pitched their projects on safe and sustainable travel behaviour to a panel of TfL executives to secure funding, advice and support to enable the teams to make their ideas a reality.
Team London Islamic School were represented by Year 8 students: Hadiuzaman Rumman (Project Manager), Abu Bakr Islam (Team Leader), Mohammed Ibrahim (Assistant Team Leader) Mahdi Amin Islam (Data Analyst), Ehsan Ahmed (Financial Manager), Yusuf Kapadia (Content & Graphic Designer) who have been planning and preparing their project in school since the beginning of the academic year with the support of the Head of Citizenship Mohammad Yaser and by TfL Specialist staff.
Their campaign was based on the Mayor of London’s priorities which are vision zero (reducing bus related road fatalities), healthier streets (more people being active at least walking cycling for 20 min), passengers experience (educating our young commuters to behave and how to be safe using public transport). The campaign focuses on creating awareness on active, responsible, safe, sustainable travel through an innovative ‘Agent of Change’ campaign. The campaign will involve a whole school culture of safe and sustainable travel through awareness assemblies for students, coffee morning for parents and community, active travel week, car free days, mode travel surveys and other initiatives, however the difference would be the launch of the ‘Agents for change’ card for those who pledge to make a change to be active and travel in sustainable ways. The YTA team have designed the card, chosen the lanyards, the suppliers, set targets and ready to launch this innovative culture campaign.
Youth Travel Ambassadors (YTA) is a youth-led programme for secondary schools and sixth form centres in London. Young people aged 11-19 can make a difference to the transport issues affecting their school communities. With the support of schools staff, borough officers and specialist TfL staff, YTA teams research, develop and deliver bespoke campaigns focused on, encouraging more walking and cycling to school, sharing key road safety messages, promoting responsible behaviour on the transport network, giving young people the skills and confidence to travel safely and independently. YTA offers innovative ways to involve young people in ways to improve their own wellbeing, the surrounding environment, and the local community. Over 1,000 students from more than 130 schools are currently delivering thousands of activities in London. Participation offers students a fantastic opportunity to, acquire new skills, gain knowledge and experience in transport, develop confidence, enhance their academic achievement and employability, attribute their work towards the Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) award.
There was intense competition with an additional four schools present from different boroughs around London to pitch their campaigns. The panel of judges comprised of senior members of Transport for London including Will Norman (Walking and cycling commissioner) from City Hall, were so impressed with the students that they granted full funding for their projects and gave positive feedback for the manner in which the boys presented. In a statement by the TfL. YTA Coordiantor Georgina Cheung said “The judges, borough staff and myself were blown away by the detail of the students presentation. Everyone was highly impressed with a few judges saying it is the ‘best pitch they might have ever seen’. You should be really proud of them and all the work you and the YTAs have achieved. The level of engagement the students have in these travel issues and their campaign really stood out to us and we look forward to seeing how their campaigns develop”.
Due to the outstanding presentation by the London Islamic School YTA’s, the school received an invitation from Elaine Goad from the Tower Hamlets Smarter Travel Team to present in front of 19 local primary schools and the Mayor of Tower Hamlets on Wednesday the 6th March 2019 to inspire years 4-6 on the importance and value of being a school Youth Travel Ambassador.
Speaking to the London Islamic School YTA Project Manager Hadiuzzaman Rumman, who said “The YTA project was an amazing chance to show and work on my leadership skills. It was a huge opportunity in trying to make my fellow students be more active on their journey. I have gained numerous skills required in the professional world which I believe I couldn`t have learnt anywhere else. Firstly I would like to thank Transport for London for organising the activities. I could not thank my team enough for how much dedication and effort they have put in to prepare and deliver our pitch. But there is one person who I would really like to thank, our Head of citizenship Mr Yaser who spent hours helping us prepare.”
Mohammad Yaser, Head of Citizenship at London Islamic School, said, “The entire campaign junction 2019 project from start to finish was an amazing experience, this project just doesn’t end here, it’s an on-going project for the boys and all involved. This experience has provided the YTA boys with an insight of the real world, and has created confidence in public speaking. What I aspire for the students through my Citizenship and Creative & Aesthetic lessons is to take the knowledge and put it in to action. Not just educating them in class, to take the boys outside the classroom and get them to be socially active citizens, and reconnecting them with their very own communities by working along with local community organisation such as TFL, MPS (Lime house Police Station), DePaul, Alone In London (Homeless organisation), GrowTH, Clean Up UK, and other NGOs. To build bridges with our local multi-faith communities and their places of worship, by working together we can build a safer, greener, cleaner active borough. My sense of pride is to make a difference in the lives of these children by creating a sense of love for humanity and God’s creation. London is our home and we must reconnect with our community. The organisation and hospitality at TfL Museum was first class. The participating boys were truly magnificent.”
The students have now returned to school fuelled with motivation and a new zeal to make their idea a reality. They continue to be helped and guided by their Teacher Mohammad Yaser and the TFL YTA Coordinator Georgina Cheung to make their campaign a successful one.