WLZ is a place-based collective impact project, a partnership of organisations which together deliver support to children and young people living in three square miles of inner west London.
The project is inspired by the Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ), a charitable enterprise supporting 12,000 0-25 year-olds ‘from cradle to college’ in 100 square blocks of central Harlem, New York. We are also inspired by Promise Neighbourhoods, President Obama’s programme to replicate HCZ across America. Promise Neighbourhoods rely on cooperation between public sector, private sector and social sector agencies, pooling budgets and coordinating action around a shared agenda.
WLZ is founded on the belief that the challenges facing children and young people are too numerous and complex for any one agency – including their families – to manage alone. The ‘whole community’ – from schools to public services to charities, neighbourhood groups and private funders – needs to get around the ‘whole child’ i.e. support their full range of needs. Only by working together can we make sure our children and young people grow up safe, healthy and happy. This is what we mean by collective impact.