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In the summer of 2021, a small but powerful team was recruited to deliver the My Place pilot project in Finsbury Park, North London. Over a period of 9 months they worked with the local community, young people, and professionals in the place making and youth empowerment sectors to co-design the My Place methodology and training programme, ensuring that the programme reflected our guiding principles of working in equal partnership with young people and local communities, and being led by evidence of what works.

The My Place Pioneers

In the spring of 2022 My Place recruited 11 passionate, talented, and diverse young people to be the first ever My Place young community leaders, or Pioneers! These young people all live and/or study in the Finsbury Park area and are determined to represent their communities and create meaningful change for everyone in Finsbury Park.

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Alesha is very excited to be a My Place pioneer because she wants to connect with others and hear what others have to say, and is very excited to see where this goes in the future

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Channay is a determined character who wants to provide local communities with a voice for future projects and improvements within Finsbury Park

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David is a highly talented footballer and is committed to going professional. David became a My Place Pioneer as he is determined to improve the local area for his family, friends, and wider community

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Emily is a musician and a chess player on the side and aims to use her passion for activism and politics to make changes in Finsbury Park


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Hannah is a young, passionate activist. She  became a My Place Pioneer to make great changes and impact her future in Finsbury Park. Hannah is also a member of the My Place advisory board

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Hayden is an intelligent and outspoken individual who hopes to improve the safety of Finsbury Park for everyone in the local community

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Jason is passionate about making a change within Finsbury Park and the community. He signed up to this project as he felt he would be a great candidate to make the area the better for both the young and older members of our local community


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Julia spends a lot of time in the Finsbury Park area, usually participating in sports. She is excited to implement her ideas and opinions to make local changes for the better. Julia is also a member of the My Place advisory board

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Núria cares deeply about the safety and welfare of the local community. She is extremely ambitious and aims to become a young community activist to change people's lives for the better

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Shukri's favourite place in the local area is the mosque because she feels a strong sense of community there. Shukri aims to learn more about research methods and how to conduct research ethically


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Ushsean cares deeply about those who call Finsbury Park home. He is a creative, intelligent, opinionated young man working towards a career in music, and hopes to use all of his talents to make deep, lasting change for local communities

The My Place Pioneers took part in a two week training programme, learning about topics such as social research, the Planning process, and how to harness their lived experience to connect with their wider community, from organisations including University of Westminster, Quality of Life Foundation and Tag Agency

Working in groups they designed two research projects to find out the views of the Finsbury Park community on the topics of regeneration and community safety. Using a combination of online engagement platform Commonplace, written surveys and audio and video interviews, the Pioneers gathered the views of over 200 local people in just two weeks.

In the autumn of 2022 the Pioneers worked with local decision makers including Councillors, Neighbourhood Forum, Planning Officials and architects through two co-creation events. Firstly, working with the Finsbury Park & Stroud Green Neigbourhood Forum on ideas for the future of the Finsbury Park station area including creating new and better green spaces and more livable public space.

The Pioneers then hosted their own co-creation workshop, where they presented their research projects and discussed with local decision makers how the things that matter to local communities in Finsbury Park can be retained and enhanced, and how improvements can be made that address some of the issues residents are facing, such as safety concerns around the park and train station, particularly for women and girls at night.

Following the completion of the pilot at the end of 2022, the Pioneers are continuing to work with local decision makers to improve Finsbury Park and have been involved in a number of projects and conversations in the area including community engagement with Haringey Council for a redeveloped Finsbury Park skatepark and working with local arts organisation Furtherfield on a participatory arts project exploring how human and non human species co-exist within Finsbury Park itself.

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