By Louisa Mitchell, CEO of West London Zone

Last week I was thrilled to accept the Centre for Social Justice Education award on behalf of West London Zone. This is our first award, and it means so much that the work we do together with young people in our Zone was honoured in this way. 

Every year, the CSJ celebrates grassroots charities that have done outstanding work to help tackle inequality, so that all children and young people can thrive in education.

So, why do I think we won?

I believe that West London Zone is doing things differently. As much as we talk about innovative organisations as ‘disruptors’, the most ground-breaking thing to do in the social sector is to collaborate. This is exactly what we do. We strive to practically bring people together on the ground around individual children, one child at a time.

And this means everyone working in partnership – our Link Worker, school staff, our delivery partners, funders, and most importantly each child and their family.

We bring together the best specialist programmes and services working locally to support the goals, strengths and needs of the children living in our zone, to create an intensive package of support for each child. Our Link Workers are ‘trusted adults’, based in schools, who manage the young people throughout a two-year programme, ensuring they engage and get the most out of it. We intervene early and proactively seek out children who would benefit from additional support and opportunities before they reach crisis point.

We are trying to break entrenched inequality in our neighbourhoood – it’s a big challenge and we need all the help we can get. The Centre for Social Justice Award will help us to grow across our zone and reach more children who would benefit from our programme.

Huge thanks to the Centre for Social Justice, and our award sponsor Legg Mason, from me and everyone at West London Zone.