Young People Peckham Receive Support From Marks Spencer Groundwork

Thursday, 01 December 2011

Four months since the London riots, environmental regeneration charity Groundwork London has announced details of a new project funded by Marks & Spencer to help rebuild community spirit in Peckham.

The project, named 'Our Voice', will engage with local youngsters between the ages of 12 and 19 from Southwark and encourage them to use their talent to promote positive messages about themselves and their area.  From the second week of December, the group will meet weekly at Groundwork's purpose built Hub Music Studio to learn song writing, poetry and film and music production.

Those involved will work towards a live performance that will be staged at a local venue in April 2012. While showcasing their talents to the community, the group will seek to understand and explain the issues that led to the summer riots in Southwark.  It is hoped the project will challenge some of the misconceptions regarding the riots and highlight how young people play an active role in the community, ultimately sharing their hopes and aspirations for their future.

Groundwork London's Youth Manager, Shabaz Ferozdin, said: "Through 'Our Voice', we are giving young people a platform to articulate positive messages about themselves and the community in which they live. Many young people feel their generation was unfairly portrayed during the riots. Groundwork's aim is to highlight the positive work local young people are doing and bring the community together through music."

Adam Elman, Head of Plan A Delivery at Marks & Spencer, said: "As well as physical damage and financial loss, the London riots have damaged community spirit in many London regions. M&S is working alongside Groundwork to support the worst affected areas with the

aim of helping them to rebuild a positive sense of community."

The project is funded by a grant from M&S aimed at rebuilding the community in specific areas that were badly affected by the riots, Peckham being one of them. It is part of the retailer's commitment to Plan A, the organisation's eco and ethical programme.


Notes to Editors

Marks & Spencer has been working with Groundwork since 2008, raising over £4m for the charity which has:

  • Funded 100 'Greener Living Spaces' projects across the UK
  • Engaged over 10,000 people in local project activity, and a further 1,200 M&S employees
  • Turned over 200,000m² of underused or derelict land into diverse and dynamic spaces for play, education, relaxation and fun
  • Constructed or improved nearly 3,500 m² of pathways, increasing accessibility to open spaces and previously underused public resources
  • Planted more than 2,200 trees and shrubs at local project sites around the country, vastly improving the quality of local environments

For further information regarding Plan A, go to


About Groundwork


  • Groundwork is a national charity working with partners to improve the quality of people's lives and the places where they live, work and play
  • Groundwork's projects help local people get practically involved in making decisions and managing improvements in their neighbourhood and encourage people to make healthier and greener lifestyle choices. This ranges from working with children and young people to create sports facilities and 'outdoor classrooms', to providing training and jobs for the long-term unemployed as they regenerate major areas of derelict or waste ground
  • Last year Groundwork supported nearly 6,000 projects across the UK supported by central and local government, businesses, charitable trusts and the National Lottery. As a result of those projects more than 80% of people involved felt their neighbourhood was a better place to live and felt more able to influence decisions affecting their community
  • See or for more information