West London: a city within a city

This week, we are celebrating our local area and raising money to support more young people in West London through online and in person events. As part of this week of celebration, students from William Morris Sixth Form were invited to take part in a film project about their local area of Hammersmith, in West London.

As part of this project, they attended a workshop led by me, their Link Worker (I’m based full time in their Sixth Form), and our Communications Officer, Amber. In this session, they brainstormed their ideas on what matters most to them in West London, from music to festivals to places of interest, and considered what filming techniques they could apply to capture sounds and visuals. They spoke to the vibrancy of West London: Hammersmith, Shepherd’s Bush, Latimer Road, Goldhawk Road.

“When you’re young here there is a certain freedom to it, you don’t care about what people think because you feel you belong.”

“Everyone just...knows everyone and it’s fun you know? I work in Chelsea football stadium- it’s hard work but feels worth it.”

Across two weeks, these young people creatively led on filming short clips in places that felt significant to them. They shared their contributions on community, culture and belonging, which culminated in a short poem that places people at the heart of West London. Here is the featured spoken-word poem recorded by these students:

A City within a city.
My West London holds rhythm, texture, taste.
Constantly giving space to speak, know, learn, grow.

We find ourselves, lose ourselves to the energy, build ourselves
We are always becoming.
With each step, the pulse reminds us again
Of home,
of hope,
of times together, and times apart.

Down Westway, up King Street, along Queensway.
There is always a way.
A vibrant journey of witnessing and celebrating,
the fullness of lives being lived.

We, the people, are West London.

YouTube Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zShGHSLpTpY

Working on this film project with young people in their first year of the West London Zone programme was a great opportunity to shine a spotlight on the spaces and places that constitute, for them, growing up in West London. It created a space for them to reflect on how West London really is a city within a city, with its own special identity that deserves to be celebrated.

Written by a West London Zone Link Worker 

together, every child and young person can flourish.