Community comes together for launch of Civic University Statement

The London Met Lab-led initiative reaffirms London Metropolitan University’s work in the community and showcase the scale of work taking place across the capital city.

Date: 5 March 2024

An audience of staff, students, and local business and community leaders gathered in London Met’s historic Wash Houses, Aldgate, on Wednesday 28 February for the launch of the University’s Civic University statement and new London Met Lab: Empowering London, Centre for Applied Research in Empowering Society (CARES).   

Coordinated by the London Met Lab: Empowering London team, this important document highlights our commitment to actively embracing the strategic goals of our London partners and addressing the concerns of local communities to tackle pressing social issues and contribute to London’s economy. It also showcases case studies and best practices of work within our key areas of focus. 

In her introduction to the report, London Met’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Lynn Dobbs, highlighted the university's dedication to community engagement and positive change, celebrating past collaborative successes. She stated, "This Civic University Statement reiterates our commitment and celebrates the collaborative work we’ve accomplished over the last few years with our students, staff, and partners. It’s a reflection of our joint efforts to engage with our community, drive positive change, and make meaningful contributions to London." 

Professor Julie Hall, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, delivered the opening address at the event and spoke about London Met's plans to do even more for the city. "We're here to make a real difference in London," she said. "Being a Civic University is more than just a label for us. It is about actively embracing the strategic goals of our London partners and addressing the concerns of our local communities to tackle pressing social issues." 

Tackling key issues 

London Met's civic work is based around six crucial areas of need within the city: social wealth, environment, health improvement, crime, poverty and deprivation, and discrimination. “Our CARES members and clinics are undertaking research projects, providing practical support and sharing their expertise so that together, we can find new and innovative ways to respond to the needs of the city in these six crucial areas,”. Commented Sophie Cloutterbuck, London Met's Director of London Engagement. 

Building London’s Future 

The event was more than just a celebration; it was a call to action. It showed London Met's commitment to being a big part of London's future, by working together with communities and organisations.  As London Met continues its Civic role, it stands ready to lead changes that benefit everyone in the city. 

During the evening guests networked over finger foods and beverages and took their time to look at the exhibit displays which showcased the projects that the London Met Lab has done in the community within the six key areas. 

Research Driving Change 

The new Centre of Applied Research in Empowering Society (CARES) was also unveiled at a launch. The multidisciplinary group of academics are dedicated to applied research and knowledge exchange with public institutions, community groups, third sector organisations and socially responsible businesses.   

The mission of the research centre was outlined by Co-Directors, Professor Diana Stirbu and Dr Torange Khonsari. “We support London Metropolitan University’s commitment to the sustainable development agenda by taking a multidisciplinary approach to tackling social problems. The aim of CARES is to challenge social injustices by using empowering models of engagement to address systems that produce inequalities.” 

Staff, academics and stakeholder members of our London Met Labs, cARES, and community teams

Read the full report published on the London Met Lab webpages, where you can find further information on the University’s civic work: