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Council leader promises teenagers ‘the best the city has to offer’

New scheme will give young people access to Westminster organisations

23 March, 2018 — By Tom Foot

Nickie Aiken at London Zoo 

A SCHEME promising teenagers the “best the city has to offer” was launched this week.

The My Westminster City Lions scheme hopes to inspire those aged 13 to 16 to become the “next generation of community, cultural and commercial leaders” through experience of some of the “greatest institutions” of Westminster.

The two-year programme started this week at London Zoo with teenagers volunteering as trainee zookeepers and finding out about endangered species.

Aziz Saiq, the Westminster Youth MP and Youth Council leader, said: “I feel particularly passionate about making sure young people are equipped to make the best of themselves and are able to seize the incredible opportunities on their doorstep.

“Having a programme available to us that will inspire us to discover our interests and to help us develop skills through work experience gets a big thumbs up from me.”

There are 56 theatres, 15 major art galleries, 24 museums and 15 cinemas in Westminster, some of which hold premieres for major Hollywood releases.

ZSL London Zoo, The Ritz, Somerset House, Odelay Films and Lord’s Cricket Ground are among those signing up to the programme offering experiences in “ground maintenance”, catering and cultural events.

The council says young people will be given “behind-the-scenes access” to these institutions, for example shadowing film crews.

Council leader Nickie Aiken said Westminster was “packed full of opportunity and variety” and that the programme would build “a direct link between our young people and Westminster’s most inspirational institutions”, adding: “The council will be building the bridges for our young people and we look forward to seeing them thrive.” Institutions and young people in Westminster wanting to get involved go to: www.westminster.gov.uk/citylions

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