Press release

Lewisham peace campaign wins Prime Minister’s Big Society Award

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Lewisham’s ‘10,000 Hands’ peace campaign was announced as the latest winner of the Prime Minister’s Big Society Award by David Cameron.

Lewisham’s ‘10,000 Hands’ peace campaign led by young people from every secondary school in the borough was announced as the latest winner of the Prime Minister’s Big Society Award by Prime Minister David Cameron in Downing Street today (23 April).

36 young people representing 13 secondary schools in Lewisham joined the Prime Minister, bringing with them the campaign’s 200 metre long ‘peace cloth’.

The 10,000 Hands campaign was launched in January 2013 by 17-year-old Camilla Yahaya. The campaign gives young people across Lewisham opportunities to lead changes they want to see in their community and calls on members and supporters to commit to standing up against violence by adding their hand print to the campaign peace cloth. The target of 10,000 hand prints has been smashed and the cloth now contains over 70,000 hand prints including from 16,000 school pupils, 10,000 families, 800 police officers, the Mayor of London, the Home Secretary, MPs, councillors, faith groups, and youth organisations. The Prime Minister added his hand print in Downing Street today.

As part of the 10,000 Hands campaign, Lewisham young people have worked on a number of projects to create a safer community through social action, including:

  • introducing safe havens in their local high streets and schools
  • launching the Lewisham Peace Buses scheme, which sees schools and bus companies join forces to make bus routes more peaceful
  • publishing Lewisham’s Young Peoples Covenant to support communication between Lewisham Council and local young people

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

Camilla and her team are doing phenomenal work to make the changes they want to see in Lewisham.

I’m proud to add my hand print to the campaign’s peace cloth today. This Big Society Award is for all the inspirational young people across Lewisham who are making a difference with the 10,000 Hands Campaign.

10,000 Hands campaign founder, 17 year old Camilla Yahaya said:

What we have done here is not exceptional, it’s just human. This is not about ‘young’ people, this is just about people - about us, the very vast majority: good, kind and hopeful people who all want the same thing – safe streets, strong communities and opportunities for all. Our cloth is just a simple way for us all to publically claim this for ourselves.

The 10,000 Hands campaign is supported by The Jimmy Mizen Foundation - Barry and Margaret Mizen joined the young people in Downing Street today.