FILMS made at Engage London workshop

Engage London’s tutor Jack Soper helped our Engage teams from Romania, London, Spain and Germany create eight fab social journalism short films just using a mobile phone. In Spain they call this mo jo (mobile journalism) in London we call it brilliant

Media trainer Jack Soper, Philipp, Barbara Schofield from City, University of London, Kristie and Brandon who were commended for their film about being European. (c) Savvas Panas/Engage London

Salah Mohamed, trainer jack Soper, Rahim Amin and Brandon Richards with Engage Europe certificates for completing the Engage London workshop (c) Barbara Schofield/Engage London

According to Barbara Schofield, from City, University of London, who co-ordinated the Engage London workshop, the visitors did well. “They’ve done brilliantly and in a short time made high quality films about mental health, staying safe and being European. We set them a challenge to create a social video which highlights the issues and are really impressed with their work. It was effective and thoughtful.”

Special commendations went to Kris, Allesandra and Salah for their mental health video; Lola, Julia and Ignasi for their staying safe in the city video and Philipp, Kristie and Brandon for their ‘how European do you feel?’ video. All eight films were fab. Well done Engage Europe.

If you’d like to have a go making a short film then download a phone app, either: https://quik.gopro.com/en/ (available on both Android and iOS) OR https://www.apple.com/uk/clips/

THE FILMS FROM ENGAGE LONDON WORKSHOP can be watched below. Enjoy, and let us know what you think of them.

TOPIC: MENTAL HEALTH

FILM 1

FILM 2 commended

FILM 3

TOPIC: STAYING SAFE IN LONDON

FILM 4

FILM 5 commended

FILM 6

 

TOPIC: BEING EUROPEAN

FILM 7

FILM 8 commended

not available

  • Let us know what you think of them. Have they inspired you to make your own short films?

 

 

PHOTOS: Engage London highlights

Engage London was delighted to host Engage Europe for a media journalism workshop from 11-13 October. Thank you all for attending. Here are some highlights:

DAY 1: Welcome event at City, University of London attended by the Mayor of Islington

Engage London’s Brandon from the Pilion Trust and City students ready to welcome Engage Europe participants (c) Lindsay Greenhouse/Engage London

The Mayor of Islington meets Engage Romania delegates and Engage London’s Brandon and Gideon (c) Lindsay Greenhouse/Engage London

Engage Europe welcome event in B200 –  “It looks like the European Parliament.” The Mayor of Islington is an alumnus of City.  (c) Lindsay Greenhouse/Engage London

Welcome to Ringcross from Salah Mohamed. Engage London hosted an amazing dinner (c) Lindsay Greenhouse/Engage London

Ringcross guests (c) Lindsay Greenhouse/Engage London

DAY 2: Making films & socialising 

Creating and editing films on phones took all day Friday. Eight were made looking at mental health; staying safe in the city and being European. (c) Lindsay Greenhouse/Engage London

 

Gallipoli Again dinner for all the Engage Europe workshop participants (c) Savvas Panas/Engage London

Laura Lepetre, Brussels; Nicola Baird, Engage London, Kiron Pataka, Tubingen, Savvas Panas, Engage London; Rares Beuran, Cluj at the Peasant with City’s Richard Evans and Barbara Schofield (c) Nicola Baird/Engage London

DAY 3 Certificates, film sharing & goodbyes

Breakfast in the Great Hall foyer for Engage London’s Brenda Ariadna, Holly Chacksfield and Rahim Amin (c) Nicola Baird/Engage London

Trainer Jack Soper with Philipp, Barbara Schofield, Kristie and Brandon who made a standout film on being European (c) Savvas Panas/Engage London

Kris, Barbara, Allessandra and Salah who made a standout film on mental health (c) Lindsay Greenhouse/Engage London

Trainer Jack Soper and Engage London’s Barbara Schofield with Julia, Lola and Ignasi who made a standout film about staying safe in London. (c) Lindsay Greenhouse/Engage London

Final day, after the certificates (c) Lindsay Greenhouse/Engage London

Final tour of Islington Museum, St Paul’s Cathedral and Tate Modern art gallery thanks to an Engage London selfie with colleagues from Romania, Germany and Brussels. (c) Engage London

 

Big thank you to our photographer Lindsay Greenhouse. And also to everyone who helped make the event such a success. Apologies for some family names being missed off – hope to change that soon.

 

Brussels: thinking refugees #6

Is Brussels unique in its growing gap between those who help migrants by offering homestays, and those who’d lock them up or send them back. Or is it just another European city and country struggling to deal with the migrant crisis? Matt Hardy from Engage London takes an overview

Telling graffiti on the Military School in central Brussels which is now being used to house refugees. Photo inspired by workshops during the Engage Europe summer school at IHECS (c) Engage London/Matt Hardy

Brussels is the capital of Belgium, the home of European Politics and the famous Manneken Pis fountain. It’s also home to a refugee crisis, rising homelessness and a growing divide between rich and poor.

A cornerstone of the EU rule book is that an asylum seeker should seek protection from the first EU country they arrive at, and not travel onwards — a phenomenon known as “secondary movement”. (Financial Times)

But who and how should be helping? In Brussels, the home city of European politics, locals are currently breaking the law to help undocumented migrants. Thanks to Facebook – Platforme Citoyen (which has 47,000 members) every evening at the Parc Maximilien, near the Gare du Nord station, up to 400 migrants gather wait for the hundreds of Belgians who will offer them an overnight home stay. They do this to outwit officials after mass arrests of undocumented people sleeping in the park. It’s been happening since the Calais jungle in France, where 6,000 migrants lived, was shut down. Most of these asylum seekers don’t want to stay in Belgium, their goal is to reach the UK.

This film from Aljazeera explains more.

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/brussels-refugee-bnb-180103082106214.html

In Brussels this citizen initiative may change as soon as a new detention centre is built as the right wing coalition government’s plan is for these migrants to be housed there.

Nearly 500 miles east of Brussels is Berlin, the capital city of Germany. Germany is home to a conservative coalition government, led by Angela Merkel, which is currently on the verge of reshaping the European viewpoint on refugees.  On the same day that the Engage London team, which included two former child refugees, left Brussels, Merkel was at the European Parliament arguing the case for sending asylum seekers back to their entry point into Europe, shifting the political crisis south.

Whose responsibility?
Already the southern European countries of the continent such as Italy and Spain are on the receiving end of the countless refugee boats that are entering Europe from north Africa.

The inhabitants of the boats? Those fleeing persecution, war and those searching for a better life from their war-torn and/or intolerant nations such as Syria, Iraq, Eritrea, South Sudan and Ethiopia.

Countries on the Mediterranean sea are beginning to close their boarders to such ships, believing that countries further inland aren’t doing their share of offering asylum.

And they are right. Recently Merkel and her prop-up coalition (Christian Democratic Union with the smaller Christian Social Union)announced a new migrant plan that includes transit zones (detention centres in all but name) in southern Germany, designed to deport “ineligible asylum seekers”. These are the very sort of centres the European Commission condemned Donald Trump for opening in the US which deliberately split babies and children from their parents and family members.

New direction
Detention centres in Germany will forcerefugees to go elsewhere. A panicked Austria (which took in many refugees during the Bosnian conflict of 1992-95) already has plans to close their borders to stop the refugees from settling in the land-locked state. This would go against the free movement of people policy valued so highly by the European Commission, and they are unlikely to be the last country to put in place such measures.

The culmination of these decisions? The refugees will head for France, Belgium and Britain because other countries are closed.

It’s clearly more complex than what’s outlined above. But the point is clear; Germany, Austria and Italy have already put measures in place to deter migrants. Will Belgium do the same? Brussels is a city of hope and prosperity to some, and the final destination for others but to everyone, it’s a city that needs to do more to protect its growing diverse population.

  • See the Facebook page, Citizen Hosting Platform (Platforme Citoyen) which has  https://www.facebook.com/plateformerefugiesbxl/ and follow the hashtag #HelpIsNoCrime
  • Keep up to date with Matt Hardy via twitter @matthardyjourno and @thepoliticosuk

Engage London has approx 27 members – a lucky eight were able to attend the Brussels summer school at IHECS from 24-28 June. They were Pilion Trust’s Rahim Amin, Favour Ekengwu, Naomi Gahie, Charlie Tshibangu and City’s journalism undergrads Matt Hardy, Alun Macer-Wright, Diana Serenli, Meagan Walker. Big thanks to Engage Europe for creating this opportunity.

 

The Facebook group that enables Belgians to offer homestays to migrants.

Brussels: gallery from Engage Europe summer school #2

Engage London sent eight young people to the Engage Europe media summer school in Brussels, hosted by the programme co-ordinator, IHECS. Here’s the story in eight portraits

1 We’ve arrived in Belgium for summer school (25-28 June 2018)

Brussels Midi – Charlie, Naomi, Nicola, Savvas, Diana, Favour, Meagan, Matt, Rahim (and one more to join us, Alun) (c) Engage London

2 Here’s where we are staying, Hostel Bruegel, close to Sablon

Engage Europe participants meet up – here are students and staff from Spain, Germany and London (UK). There were also staff and students from Cluj-Napol in Romania. (c) Engage London

3 Last team member to join us

Alun Macer-Wright makes the first day’s plenary at IHECS, a journalism/media uni in Belgium, just in time to join the Engage Europe workshops with students and young people from Romania, Spain, Germany, Belgium and the UK. IHECS journalism school is close to the famous Manneken Pis (c) Engage London

4 IHECS journalism school is in the centre of Brussels

IHECS (this pic will be changed to the full group portrait when it is sent on from Engage Europe) (c) Engage London

5 Trip to the European Parliament (Engage Europe is co-funded by the Erasmus Programme of the EU)

First time visit to the European Parliament for five Engage London students – Charlie, Favour Alun, Diana and Naomi – who met Julie Ward, MEP for North West England (c) Engage London

6 A taster from just one of the workshops linking civil society with uni skills – this one involved portrait photography #baghead #ostcollective

In the back streets of Brussels summer school workshop had turned a garage into a photo studio to connect academia with civil society and mix up the formal portrait using skills of #octcollective. Here are Pilion Trust CEO Savvas Panas and Islington Faces’ Nicola Baird in disguise (c) Engage London

7 After sharing our summer school work there were certificates and a party

Scenes from the photo booth at the IHECS hosted party at Loft 58 – Romanians, British, Spanish, German and Belgian students all know how to party. (c) Engage London/Matt Hardy

8 Goodbye lunch

Delicious lunch at Les Cercle des Voyageurs near IHECS, in Brussels (c) Engage London

Engage London has approx 27 members – a lucky eight were able to attend the Brussels summer school at IHECS from 24-28 June. They were Pilion Trust’s Rahim Amin, Favour Ekengwu, Naomi Gahie, Charlie Tshibangu and City’s journalism undergrads Matt Hardy, Alun Macer-Wright, Diana Serenli, Meagan Walker. Big thanks to Engage Europe for creating this opportunity.

Brussels: World Cup round up #1

Round up of watching the Russia 2018 World Cup in Brussels after the inspiring media workshops at the Engage Europe summer school in Belgium. Report by Engage London’s Charlie Tshibangu (England fan) written on the Eurostar back to London just before the Belgium v England game…

Manneken Pis in central Brussels is dressed in the Belgian football strip ready for the England v Belgium game. The statue has his clothes changed twice a day but is naked by night. (c) Engage London

Watching the matches in a bar in Brussels is a great atmosphere, you get to experience the rollercoaster emotions football gives you with a mix of fans such as Portuguese, German, as well as the Belgian fans (while drinking the famous Belgian beer or two!).

Being a football fan myself and watching all the games in Brussels, it made me get to know and look at the city in a different light. They really embraced their team, plastering the city with posters of players and hanging their flags everywhere you looked… which for me was great.

I asked every Belgian person I came across about their thoughts on the big Belgium V England draw scheduled for Thursday 28 June. Surprisingly a few were less optimistic about their squad and their chances of winning against us. Unfortunately for us, and fortunately for them, they ended up beating us 1-0 by a brilliant goal from Adnan Januzaj.

CAPTION: Football is huge in Brussels – here Morocco fans celebrate a draw (2:2 with Spain). Film by Engage London/Matt Hardy

The 2018 Russia World Cup has been eventful so far, two weeks in and there has already been a couple of heartbreaks. The latest disappointment being Germany, the former 2014 World Cup Champions have crashed out of the group stages.

Germany’s first blow came when they lost their opening game 0-1 when they took on an energetic Mexican side, with the young Mexican Lozano nicknamed ‘Chucky’ grabbing the win. When time came to redeem themselves in their second game against Sweden the Germans answered the critics by adding a much needed 3 points to their account when they beat the Swedes 2-1 with Toni Kroos scoring a 90th minute free-kick at the very last seconds of a frustrating game, the goal without a doubt making its way in top 3 position in best goal of the competition.

Moving forward from their 2-1 win, they took on South Korea who were branded this week as one of the worst teams of the competition having failed to win a single game in their campaign.

Germany as expected created a number of chances failing to score a single goal which would later come back to haunt them as South Korea took their chance in on the 90th minute scoring on corner kick. Germany’s demise continued when the world number 1 goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was caught outside his goal which led to a easy tap in by the Tottenham Hotspur striker Heung-Min Son making the final results 0-2 to South Korea.

The Koreans triumph over the Champions, caused them to be eliminated. It’s the earliest exit for Germany since the competition began in 1938. Some might say this could be one of the most shocking moments of the World Cup since Brazil’s humiliating 7-1 defeat back in 2014.

Other teams whose journeys were cut short are Panama, Tunisia, Iceland, Senegal and Nigeria.

Nigeria was the most unfortunate of the bunch after letting their qualification ticket slip when Argentina’s centre back Marcos Rojo’s volley from an 80th minute corner kick.

For everyone it’s a rollercoaster of emotions.

  • Engage London has approx 27 members – a lucky eight were able to attend the Brussels summer school at IHECS from 24-28 June. They were Pilion Trust’s Rahim Amin, Favour Ekengwu, Naomi Gahie, Charlie Tshibangu and City’s Matt Hardy, Alun Macer-Wright, Diana Serenli, Meagan Walker. Big thanks to Engage Europe for creating this opportunity.

Meet the team: Charlie Tshibangu

Meet our Engage London team in Brussels. Here’s Charlie Tshibangu. Interview by Favour Ekengwu, Naomi Gahie and Rahmin Amin

Charlie Tshibangu (c) Hugh Gary Photography

Charlie, 23, was looking for employment when this interview was done but has already found a warehouse job.

Q: Where do you live?
I’m from the Congo. I came to London when I was eight. It was weird because I was put into foster care with a Jamaican family. We (Charlie and his siblings) weren’t allowed to speak French. It was difficult.

Q: How come you’re involved in the Pilion Trust?
My friend was here,  Melvin, he brought me here in 2016. I got along with Savvas so I get invited. And he helps me with food if I have no food in the house.

Q: What are your interests?
Football. From 16-18 and a half I used to play reserves for Boreham Wood. I was a centre back so I played in defence. I got realistic, I didn’t think I’d make it.  It’s like the lottery, not everyone makes it.

Q: It’s the World Cup how will you concentrate?
I will do my work but whenever there’s a break then I will want to watch it. I just love football – I like all the teams. I don’t think Brussels will win. Maybe England!

Q: Do you like live football?
I used to work at Arsenal on match days. Every time I watched I couldn’t stop smiling.

Q: What are you expecting from Brussels’ summer school?
Not sure yet.

  • Engage Europe is running a summer school from 24-28 June. 

WRITING: Processions a walking art show

100 years ago, women were given the right to vote and stand for office. Processions 2018 a beautiful walking art exhibition celebrated just that. Many women, girls, those who identified as women or non-binary (I even spotted a few male supporters) came together to walk from Green Park station to Parliament to support, record and exhibit their banners. Report by NAOMI GAHIE for Engage London

A sea of marchers at Processions where everyone wore Green, White or Violet banners (the Suffragettes code for Give Women Votes). (c) Pilion Trust/Dolores Steadman

Exiting Green Park station my eyes were instantly drawn to colour green, purple and white everywhere I turned; the colour for the Suffragettes. The sight of hundreds of women, banners, chanting, battle crying, dancing and most importantly smiling in celebration of an event that changed the life for women in the UK was incredible.

Waiting to start Processions a walking art show across London (Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh). (c) Pilion Trust/Dolores Steadman

The aura emitted from the participants was infectious, you could feel the love, the injustice of more that was to be resolved, the celebration of the accomplishments to date, it was impossible to not smile, join in the chants and at times have a little boogie to the music around.

Still Not Good Enough – the fab banner Naomi Gahie (R) and friends at Pilion Trust created to join the Processions March across London on 10 June to celebrate 100 years of (some) women having the vote. (c) Pilion Trust/Dolores Steadman

Our banner for the march zoned in or 4 points our group had decided they wanted to draw attention to:

  • Modern Slavery – A worldwide epidemic that is so close to home. The U.K. one of top 10 countries affected by modern-day slavery, with a record-breaking number of reports made related to modern day slavery and trafficking made just last year.
  • Forced Marriage – A saddening and putrid practise affecting many in today’s modern society across the world. Illegal in the U.K. since June 16th, 2014; it should be illegal worldwide.
  • Domestic Violence – A vulgar offence I believe affects us all one way or the other, if it’s not close family, it may be a friend or a friend of a friend. Sadly, a lot of people are still under the impression this only affects women, men are also affected by domestic violence and a lot more unlikely to come forward and report it.
  • Gender Pay Gap – I think it’s pretty self-explanatory, don’t you?

Our chosen slogan at the front of our banner “STILL NOT GOOD ENOUGH”, was chosen to get the message across that although we have come far as a society there is still much inequality that must come to an end hence the “TO BE CONTINUED…” at the back of the banner.

The brilliant 2-sided banner from Pilion Trust. (c) Pilion Trust/Dolores Steadman

I was bamboozled and humbled to see our banner had sparked conversation by passers-by such as the recent vote to legalise abortion in the Republic of Ireland. I hate to toot my own horn but we were stopped every 5 minutes just so pictures could be taken off our amazingly executed, thought-provoking, eye-catching banner. Too much? Sue me!

There were many groups that really peaked my interest such as a woman dressed in attire from 1918 with a humongous parliament model on top of her head or the colourful “Power to the future” banner an array of colours and three-dimensional flowers and geometric-somethings popping out to bring it to life.

There is nothing I would change about the march, it was such an honour to be part of the event which will remain close to my heart till the day I depart the earth.

Happy after the Women’s Procession celebration of (some) women getting the vote in 1918. Engage London members Naomi Gahie (2nd from left in green sash) and Fadz Ali (far right in violet sash). (c) Pilion Trust

As a first timer to a march of any sorts, I must admit I was nervous for what I would be expecting, however, that disappeared instantly as soon as I could what I could only describe as love. I can assure you I will be involved in the next Processions march, will you be joining me?

  • Read the Q&A with Naomi Gahie here.
  • Processions was organised by Artichoke

 

 

 

June: behind the scenes

To help all the Engage London team keep up their media-making knowledge after City students’ exams had ended and Pilion Trust young people had moved out of their winter Crashpad accommodation, we arranged a weekly drop-in blogging masterclass at Ringcross Community Centre. Report back from Nicola Baird

Workshop 1: Romeo, Favour and Brandon get blogging. (c) Engage London

Blog workshop 1 – Favour and Brandon, who both hope to go to Brussels, with Romeo discovered basic blog writing conventions including SEO (search engine optimisation) tips or headline choice, why write standfirsts, and the usefulness of the Q&A interview.

  • Favour Ekengwu started an accounting course. She also used her new media skills to write a food review of Blackstock Kitchen on Blackstock Road. This was her first trip to an independently owned cafe.  Favour: “It was a bit awkward coming into a cafe as it looked expensive. The food was amazing: I had a chicken wrap and it was really seasoned beautifully. You can taste the love. The homemade lemonade drink was smooth and sweet. It was so good. And the cookie was so soft, easy to chew! I want to go again and film it next time.” Total bill for Favour’s lunch (chicken wrap, cookie and lemonade) plus Nicola’s falafel wrap and coconut brownie was £12. If you want to try this cafe, go to Blackstock Kitchen, 136 Blackstock Road, N4.

Workshop 2: Blogging masterclass at Ringcross community centre. Nicola on the laptop the clockwise Matt, Diana, Meagan, Rahim, Romeo and Rihana Senay and her sister. (c) Savvas Panas for Engage London.

Blog workshop 2 – was held out in the sunshine. It led to three City students – Meagan Walker, Diana Serenli and Matt Hardy – running Q&A interviews with current and former Pilion Trust members and

  • Romeo Nanub wrote up the first Q&A with Meagan Walker, see here.
  • Romeo had a go writing a theatre review after attending most of a four hour immersive theatre show of George Orwell’s book about poverty and homelessness Down & Out in Paris and London at the UCL Festival (which you can also listen to here). Romeo: “The scrabbling around trying to get any work and the rough sleeping – these things are timeless. It was really relatable and sad, especially the boredom. You have nothing to do, so do useless things (in George Orwell’s book Boris and George just drank together) until the next time when you are busy working again. I’d love to read the book.”
  • An interview with Brandon was published on Islington Faces and he set up a Just Giving Crowdfunder page so he can get the right equipment to improve his animation skills.

After the Women’s Procession celebration of (some) women getting the vote in 1918. Engage London members Naomi Gahie (2nd from left in green sash) and Fadz Ali (far right in violet sash). (c) Pilion Trust

  • Naomi Gahie was kept busy by starting a job and getting banners ready for the Women’s Procession on Sunday  10 June which saw tens of thousands of women march across London (Cardiff, Belfast and Edinburgh) to celebrate the centenary of (some) women getting the vote in 1918 (see Guardian story here). This project has highlighted the importance of Green, White and Violet to the Suffragettes, it was a branding code that also meant Give Women Votes. Naomi loved the event, and plans to write about these events on the Engage London blog.
  • The first year City university journalism students – Matt, Meagan and Diana – finished off their end of year exams including a language paper.

Workshop 3 on blogging and interviewing was attended by (From left, clockwise around the table) Favour, Nicola, Charlie, Jahbery, Savvas, Naomi and Rahim. ((c) Engage London

Blog workshop 3
We ran a third blog masterclass on June 12. This time it was a twilight session from 5.30-7pm so the young people with jobs, or on courses, found it easier to reach. Big thanks to them for getting across London on time.  This session saw Favour, Charlie and Naomi – who are all going to Brussels for the Engage Europe meet up – develop their Q&A interviewing (soon to be blog posts). We also discussed the upcoming workshops in Brussels and what we already know about Belgium. It’s count down time…

Brussels summer school preparation: Standing: Savas Panas, CEO Pilion Trust, Nicola Baird, journalist. Sitting: Rahim Amin, Favour Ekengwu, Naomi Gahie. (c) Engage London

Workshop 4
We discussed a code of conduct which the young people wrote up. Basically going to the summer school in Brussels needs to be treated as professional work time, and not a holiday. In addition to the workshops we’re all looking forward to frites and mayonnaise, seeing the Grand Place and the famous Manikin Pis, spotting the Art Nouveau buildings and looking for street art and graffiti.

  • City journalism student Meagan Walker wrote a guest post on Islington Faces (a website similar to Humans of New York but restricted to Islington, London) with an interview she’d written about Antonagis Andreou who grew up in Islington in the 1950s/60s. Read it here 
  • STOP PRESS: Rahim Amin will also be going to the Brussels summer school.

MILESTONE: The Engage London blog had 2000+ views by 20 June. Thank you readers.

For Brussels summer school see posts HERE

Meet the Brussels team: City students

Three First Year students studying at journalism at City have joined the Engage London team and look set to travel to Brussels for the workshops in June. Here’s some info about the City students. Questions by Pilion’s Rhiana Senay with edits by Nicola Baird

Matt, Diana and Meagan from City will be attending the Engage Europe workshops in Brussels. (c) Engage London/BR

MATT HARDY, 18
“Our course leader at City, Barbara Schofield, asked if we could help out in the project with the Pilion Trust. It’s been great, we made a TV question time and a podcast together. There are about 100 in the first year so maybe most people don’t check their university emails! Barbara invited me as I’d orignally gone to interview MEPs at the European Parliament in Brussels for our podcast.  We set a date, but found that the only people willing to talk to us were UKIP people, like the MEP from Thurrock, Essex so we got strong views. They were and very anti Europe. We were a little bit shocked. We asked strangers. Our political podcast, we call it the @politicosuk aims to give people a kick up the bum because young people don’t vote too much.”

  • Matt Hardy’s twitter blog is @thepoliticosu
  • Follow his personal twitter on @matthardyjourno

DIANA SERENLI, 18
“I’m Ukrainian from the Russian side of Ukraine, there’s always been a split in Ukraine – and Kiev used to be the capital city of Russia. My mum is from Russian side which we usually visit every year – although I haven’t been there for two years. I’ve got family in Russia where the 2018 world cup is happening but my dad can’t go because he’s got a new job.

I’m quite sporty – I support Chelsea. I used to play football but when I was three years old I started doing artistic gymnastics on the bars, beam, vault, floor. I was going to be Olympic level but I decided to stop when I was 9. Olga Korbut [the first gymnast to get all 10s] was my inspiration. I thought my coach was her because she looked like her. I’m not sure what journalism I want to go into. I love travel journalism and want to travel the world. At City they’re teaching you everything. Next year we are doing sports journalism and I love photography too.

My dream is to live in another country. I’m the first person in my family to be born in England (I was born in Greenwich hospital, then we moved to Lewisham) and also schooled here, but my dream is to live in another country.

MEAGAN WALKER, 19
I’m from Worcester in the Midlands studying journalism at City. She wanted to be a marine biologist but was scared of sharks. Working for Worcestershire FA over the summer.

Meet the Brussels team: Meagan Walker

Meagan Walker, 19-year-old journalism student from Worcestershire reflects on her move from the Midlands to study journalism at City. Interview by Romeo Nanub

Front: Meagan Walker, from City uni, with her interviewer, Romeo Nanub at Ringcross Community Centre during a recent Engage London blogging masterclass. (c) Engage London

Where are you from?
I’m from the Midlands, the middle of nowhere. It’s quiet, boring, old. There’s freedom and safety though.

What did you do in the countryside?
Horse riding, walks and bike rides down old railway tracks. I moved away from Worcestershire for the first time to go to uni to study journalism. I feel more at home in London because it’s more inclusive of people and diverse. It’s also the perfect place for my course.

What are your plans after graduating?
Now I work to live in London. But I want to feel more balanced because the living cost in London is too high, so after university I’m hoping to move to Australia to work.

Tell us a secret
I used to want to be a marine biologist, but I was scared of sharks. But now I’m a shark lover and advocate of shark conservation.

How did you find out about #hearmespeak?
A friend spoke about #hearmespeak at university. It made me realise I was privileged and wanted to share my skills and experience with others. I have a responsibility to give back because I’m lucky to be in this position.

  • Meagan Walker is one of the eight students Engage London hopes will go to Brussels for the Engage Europe workshops during June 2018.
  • Read Meagan’s blog at https://meaganhonour.wordpress.com/
  • This is Romeo Nanub’s first interview for Engage London – he was introduced to the project via the Pilion Trust and has been joining the blogging masterclasses. Sadly he’s not available for the Brussels trip. We all loved this interview so much that Romeo was then invited to write a feature/review for the Pavement – a bimonthly magazine for homeless Londoners.