CiaO Foundation presents special Primrose Award to Eastside Young Leaders' Academy

The aim of the CiaO Foundation is to support people in overcoming challenges as well as recognising those who have successfully conquered their own challenges and in return are helping others facing theirs. As such, we are very pleased to announce the presentation of a special Primrose Award to the young people and individuals of the Eastside Young Leaders' Academy (EYLA) that truly meets both those aims.

Eastside Young Leaders’ Academy is an inspirational organisation already helping young people in the Wanstead area of London with the challenges surrounding them. Countering the very real danger of gangs, crime and violence in the area, they provide leadership development, masterclasses and workshops for young people at risk of social and educational exclusion and wishing to overcome the challenge of those threats. 

The provision of the Primrose Award has helped in the realisation of a young person led project in the organisation and the setting up of a youth cafe. The undertaking itself has been no easy task but a positive challenge in itself, were for six months a group young people thoroughly researched, planned and managed the project.  With the award, the CiaO Foundation provided assistance in obtaining furniture and equipment helping bring the cafe into reality. This new safe “space to be” is going to provide many opportunities for the individual young people that will use it, such as:

  • Work experience and customer service as it will be run by young people for young people,
  • Providing an inexpensive place to meet together, away from the influences of gangs and crime,
  • Being an inviting alternative to those individuals not currently access any programmes,
  • Encouraging leadership, personal growth, developing business and other useful skills,
  • Inspiring facilitated art, creative and photographic projects for cafe decoration,
  • And much, much more.
The additional aspect provided in this Primrose Award presentation, making it extra special, is that it acknowledges the hard work and determination of the young leaders who have already overcome these challenges of criminal activity. These individual young people will take what they have learned from their experience and will be passing on the knowledge, courage and hope to their peers in the cafe for avoiding and escaping gang life. 

Inspired by the CiaO Foundation's ethos of “Challenge is an Opportunity” the young people of EYLA decided to honour us by naming their new space, Cafe Ciao.  

“These programmes provide life-transforming opportunities and make a real difference to many young individuals. Our young leaders are helping other local youngsters develop a mindset whereby they all learn to see their challenges as opportunities.” 

Anne Collard – Project Manager Eastside Young Leaders’ Academy


We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the staff and young people at EYLA, for their time, hospitality and efforts on the day of the presentation. It truly was an honour and an inspiration.