The London Islamic School student Youth Travel Ambassadors (YTA) represented the school at the Transport for London Campaign Junction 2018 on Wednesday the 9th February 2018 at the Transport for London museum to pitch their projects on safe and sustainable travel behaviour to a panel of Transport for London executives in a Dragons’ Den style pitching event 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: Ibrahim Amin (Project Manager), Zul Qarnain Kiani (Team Leader), Yusuf Rahim (Data Analyst), Samir Soni (Data Analyst) 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 supported by TfL Specialist staff.
Their campaign focused on creating awareness on active, responsible, safe, sustainable travel through a short film which they would plan and produce. The film would be used to target our students, parents/guardians to educate them on how to behave in public and the need to be more active by walking to school. This project was decided based on assisting in fulfilling the Mayor of London’s vision which is:
- 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 safe using public transport).
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, were so impressed with the students that they said,
“Because you’ve done that project before you got that data to compare the mode shift that you noticed that has dropped, it’s an on-going effort, it never stops because you always have young people coming in schools, we need to convince their change. Well done for recognising that, that’s superb”
“Really like the fact you’re expanding your audience not just the kids, parents and guardians are key and making it worthwhile for them, so you mentioned about reducing the burden on parents to go for more independent travel that’s a superb message to increase active travel.”
“The active map, it’s a great idea, showing it visually if you develop this a little bit that’s going to be a great tool for you to use in your video, this is a really good resource that you created already, tweak this little bit and get that out as well.”
“We really like your campaign focusing on parents and students and you had specific role for your team! This is useful for any YTA Team to have, some role to divide the work so that you can be really organised, like you had your data analysts and the project manager, I think it’s really important to do that, also great public speaking there, really well spoken, very impressed. We would like to see you integrate your active travel zone into this film. This maps you got is really fantastic!”
Speaking to the London Islamic School YTA Project Manager Ibrahim Amin, 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. Also a special thanks to Mr Mabrur who provided us ample amount of help and encouragement.”
Mohammad Yaser, Head of Citizenship at London Islamic School, said, “The entire campaign junction 2018 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 Fiona Hedderman to make their campaign a successful one.