Art is The Cure (AITC)

Had a meeting this morning with Rich Simmons and Graham over at the Art is The Cure HQ in Norwood Junction. There studio is awesome, floor to ceiling murals and amazing street art propped up all over the place, as well as covering every possible surface.

Am pleased to be able to announce that 4WD Foundation will be working in partnership with AITC and Ignite on a few youth projects based at AITC HQ this summer. For more info on Art is The Cure watch this short (pretty old school!) video featuring founder Rich Simmons:

Tomorrow Rich will be creating a street piece outside the Opera Gallery prior to featuring alongside the likes of Banksy and D*Face at The Street Art Show, which he has kindly invited me and Goldie to! My first ever art gallery private party invite! Apparently Hugh Grant is on the guest list and there is free champagne…

Young Achievers Awards- Nominations Open!

Do you know a fantastic young person (UK resident) who has given up their time (volunteered) to make great things happen in the areas of sport, community, arts or the environment and deserves some praise?

If so why not nominate them for a Young Achievers Award?!

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See you (at) 2morro!

Very excited about this! If like me you want to change the world for the better I want to see you here!

Invite all of your friends, all are welcome and the event is aimed at 16-25 year olds.

I will be hosting the event and it’s going to be AWESOME!

2morro is on MON 12th JULY 9am – 5pm at the BFI, Southbank

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So I made the effort to attend the Youth Funding Network get-together tonight, having been invited to previous occurences by my bro Matt Kepple and not being able to make it due to work commitments.

After the nightmare finding the venue and getting wet in the rain (I am not an East girl) I was pleasantly surprised to enter a venue that looked a lot like someone’s living room – full of bean bags, fairy lights, arts and crafts and culinary delights. Nice! Big up the woman behind the Samosas.

Handcrafted Heaven.

So the event format is that 3 projects are chosen prior to the night and get to pitch to the audience on the eve. All attendees pay a £10 entry fee and get an equivilant cash value voucher. Once all 3 projects have pitched, audience members then chose to donate their vouchers (and more if they wish) to which ever project(s) they feel are worthy of support.

Once the giving formalities were over (not that they were at all formal, more like a sexually charged auction (with no sex) thanks to Matt’s compare style), we were entertained with Brazilian beats, acoustic guitar and some serious spoken word (BIGBIGBIG).

Lyric of the night: ‘I miss you like Dre misses NWA’.

Rum and Ginger was the tipple of the night. Not for me obvs, it’s still Lent.

Anyways, it was a great eve, big ups to the whole YTFN team, and as ever, it was just wonderful to be immersed in the energy created by a room full of socially-conscious-passionate-about positive-change people. Vibes galore.

Great concept. Great formula. Great event! Really looking forward to the next one. Date has not yet been announced but in the meantime join the YTFN mailing list to get in the loop. I’ll see ya’ll there. x

Engaging Young People In Social Action…

Firstly happy Social Enterprise Day! To all current and future social entrepreneurs. It is a fantastic privilege to be able to contribute simultaneously to lasting social change and the economic well-being of ourselves and the world at large. I hope you are all enjoying and making the most of the fantastic week that is Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW).

Last week I had the luxury of having a hot chocolate accompanied by a rather thought – provoking discussion with two very dear friends and fellow social entrepreneurs, Matt Kepple and Duane Melius.

Sharing stories and frustrations with these two fantastic young men is something I’ve had the pleasure of doing for a while, but this time it was different. In amongst our usual creative and visually aided ramblings and disagreements about the parameters of youth, engagement, social change, the economy, politics and the plight of the social entrepreneur, we stumbled across something rather beautiful, an Idea.

Well to be honest first we argued quite a bit and drew lots of random diagrams, but that’s normal. And then we came up with a cool question which is also pretty normal (we are a pretty cool questioning bunch) :

How could we combine our resources, experience and contacts to create a broader movement of improvement within youth engagement for social change?

And then the Idea came. Ragged, unformed, imposing and dangerous. It stormed upon us bit by bit until we got so dizzy with excitement we were quite frankly shouting the Coffee Shop down. We actually scared the lady sitting next to us away (but the guys wouldn’t let you know that!) We played with the Idea, pulled at it, questioned upon questioned it (and each other) and ‘thought-showered’ on it until we’d rubbed it up the wrong way so much that we could actually see our faces in the darn thing. Poor Idea.

So, here it is:

We now are creating a practitioners model for engaging young people in social change. One that acknowledges the variety and homogeneity within youth, the spectrum of ‘engagement’ and the tension between adult leadership and youth empowerment.

What do you think?

As the sunsets on Social Enterprise Day, please join the discussion around how we engage this next generation.

Please check out Matt’s blogpost on this same topic here

❤ Naomi Jane


Twitter: #SocEnt #GEW

Are We a Lost Generation?

“There is Hope.

It is us.”

4WD…the beginnings

Moving 4WD…

Me and some fantastic young people I’d just told about 4WD.

Filmed at Chain Reaction 08.

‘We’ve got the 4WD bug!’ — LOVE IT! 🙂

Croydon Week of Peace

Croydon Safer Partnership asked me to give a speech at the Croydon Week of Peace Launch event at the Town Hall.

It was a real honour to speak from the same podium as Reverend Nims Obunge, the Founder of the Peace Alliance.

I spoke about how my personal experiences have inspired me to set up 4WD and start working with young people to create pro-active solutions to social problems such as youth under-achievement, hostility and violence.

Check out the BBC’s article on the event and my interview HERE.