Lewisham Council - Civic Leadership Programme

Civic Leadership Programme

The Civic Leadership Programme is designed to help more people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds get active in civic and political life.

The Civic Leadership Programme is a partnership between Lewisham Council and Operation Black Vote. 

The programme

The programme looks at six different areas of public life: 
  • education – school governors
  • health – health board of Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust
  • local government – councillors
  • policing – safer neighbourhood panels
  • criminal justice system – magistrates
  • the voluntary sector – trustees

It involves a mixture of observation and training sessions, designed to give you the confidence, knowledge and capacity to become more active within public life, including: 

  • how each area of public life works
  • roles and responsibilities of being a public appointee
  • the process and procedures of each area of public life
  • benefit to the community of each area of public life
  • how public appointments are made.  

The scheme also includes a learning seminar looking at areas such as:   

  • developing leadership techniques
  • presentation and public speaking skills
  • importance of civic activism
  • issues regarding race, equality and BME representation.  

Requirements of applicants

  • all applicants must be 18 years or over and come from a BME background
  • all applicants must live in the borough of Lewisham 
  • all applicants must be able to demonstrate a genuine interest in community affairs
  • all applicants must be able to commit between 6–10 working days to complete the programme (number of days will vary from a minimum of 6 days to a maximum of 10 days dependent upon the number of areas of public life you wish to observe).   

What happens after the scheme has finished?

Many graduates have become councillors, magistrates, school governors, with many others taking roles in public office. Our aim is that upon completion, this leadership programme will give participants the skills and motivation to engage in public life. Everyone who successfully completes the programme will be invited to a graduation event and awarded with a certificate. In addition, participants will join the OBV alumni programme, which will provide assistance, support and networking opportunities.  

The work of OBV

Watch this video from 2011 which celebrates 15 years of the work of Operation Black Vote.



Operation Black Vote
020 8983 5430



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