Brent Borough of Culture 2020: Young Blueprint Collective members are at the heart of every project

PUBLISHED: 09:00 01 January 2020

Lauren Adeyemi and Ismael Dahir, from the Brent Borough of Culture 2020 Blueprint Collective team. Picture: Brent Council

Lauren Adeyemi and Ismael Dahir, from the Brent Borough of Culture 2020 Blueprint Collective team. Picture: Brent Council


When Brent put in its bid to become the London Borough of Culture 2020 it promised that young people would take the lead in developing the programme.

This promise has been upheld with a core group of under-30s sprinkling their magic on everything the public will experience this year.

The Blueprint Collective, as they are known, is a "part boot camp part pressure group" made of 16 to 30 year olds.

Ismael Dahir "was recruited" while still a pupil at Crest Academy. Now 20 and studying aerospace engineering at the University of Surrey, he said: "The teachers picked me from 1,000 students to represent the school for the Blueprint Collective. I had no idea what it was but then I was told about it."

They sit on every board with council and community leaders to shape the projects from the summer's mile-long street party in Kilburn High Road to the autumn's No Bass Like Home project celebrating reggae.

"It's been a hectic, there's all these events we have to attend to prepare but I'm excited to see 2020 get started, see all my plans into fruition."

One of these is the regeneration of a plot of land in Wembley Park.

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"We are creating a safe place for 18 to 24-year-olds which is still under construction. There's no age restrictions to it; it's just that age group tends to be seen but not heard, they are under represented," he said.

The biggest challenge is "not having enough time", he said, adding: "I'd prefer to have more time developing everything. I think it will go good, it should end up well."

Lauren went to a Brent 2020 meeting in city hall a year ago where she asked to get involved.

"I live in Brent, I live in Willesden Green. I wanted to know what was going on, if there were young people doing stuff, I thought it would be a good way to give back. I'd love to have my voice be part of helping shape Brent."

The 24-year-old was told to apply to be a "young ambassador" and was successful.

She's been busy creating podcasts on love, politics and identity with young people which will be rolled out throughout the year.

She's also on the board with Metropolis to shape the huge pop gig in September for 12,500 residents in Wembley Arena. "It's a really nice process," she said.


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