blog 10: JB Gill judges City Pitch

14th July 2016

Guest blog by Mayor’s Fund for London Ambassador, JB Gill

Mayor's Fund City Pitch in London's Living Room, City Hall, London, UK. Wednesday, 13th July 2016. Picture by Ben Stevens
JB Gill at City Pitch

My secondary venture into City Hall was destined to be an inspirational one. Having been selected for the judging panel of the Mayors Fund for London’s “City Pitch” project, supported by the Hillingdon Community Trust and the Captain Planet Foundation, I walked into the building with the excited anticipation of fulfilling my newly established ambassadorial role for the charity.

I have worked with children and young people on many occasions and nothing energises me more than seeing their enthusiasm for personally developed projects and this event did not disappoint. Children between the ages of 8-18 from 6 schools across the London Borough of Hillingdon had designed an environmental business proposition, which they had to pitch to myself and a panel of judges in order to receive their requested level of funding for the project. They sang, danced and acted their way through each issue pertinent to their causes, inspiring an audience of 150 people made up of parents, teachers and City Hall staff. Their impact was profound, their discourses managed to wow even the most prolific public speakers and when one young man cheekily suggested the following:  “We want to get Boris Johnson the ’PM’ – I mean ‘MP’ – to help us”, the room descended into raptures of laughter! It was also such an inspiration to see an independent specialist school for children on the autism spectrum chosen among the beneficiaries of the city pitch initiative; the children of Hillingdon Manor School pioneering the way, not only for other individuals coping with the effects of autism but also for schools similar in nature to theirs.

Mayor's Fund City Pitch in London's Living Room, City Hall, London, UK. Wednesday, 13th July 2016. Picture by Ben Stevens
Hillingdon Manor Pupil

My first commission as an ambassador for the Mayor’s Fund for London has undoubtedly begun with a ‘bang’. I was immensely proud to play my small part in an initiative so empowering to the futures of so many children and I look forward to my continued involvement in such a fantastic project.