Charity supporting 'vulnerable' east London youngsters celebrates 30 years by breaking world record
PUBLISHED: 07:00 04 November 2019 | UPDATED: 11:59 04 November 2019
An east London charity supporting "vulnerable" youngsters has marked 30 years of service by breaking a world record.
Isle of Dogs based East London Business Alliance (ELBA) celebrated at East Wintergarden in Canary Wharf with speakers including Lord John Bird, founder of The Big Issue, and Geoff Thompson, chairman of the University of East London.
The charity used the event on Wednesday (October 30) to urge businesses in the capital to support their work with grassroots organisations and young people.
ELBA CEO Ian Parkes said: "We were delighted to be able to bring all our partners, supporters and volunteers together to celebrate 30 years of building brighter futures for east London residents.
"With the support of more than 70 business members and in partnership with inspiring grassroot charities we have supported thousands."
He added the event and partnership with The Big Issue showcased what ELBA has achieved in recent years - but also the distance yet to travel.
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"We know employers have an ability to make a huge difference in their communities and hope more will join us to give everyone a brighter future," Mr Parkes said.
ELBA held a record-breaking employability event involving 330 students and 24 volunteers. Guinness World Records representatives were on hand to confirm the new record of the largest employability skills lesson.
Students came from Lister, Greatfields, Sarah Bonnell, Eden Park, Little Ilford, Eden Girls, Sanders, Kingsford, Willowfield, St Edwards Church of England Academy and New City College.
Lord John Bird, founder of The Big Issue, provided the key note address. A joint campaign between the magazine and ELBA saw 2,000 copies of a special knife crime edition of the magazine distributed at Westfield Stratford City by pupils from Norlington School and Sixth Form.
Geoff Thompson spoke about how business occupies a central role in bringing about lasting change to youngsters' prospects.
He said: "We want business people to be looking to the future, and be inspired by the powerful and unique contribution that business can make when it works with community organisations and education partners."
Established in 1989, ELBA draws on the talent, resources and workforce of Canary Wharf and City of London businesses to help meet needs through employee volunteering and support.
For more information on opportunities with ELBA, visit elba-1.org.uk.