The Recruitment Process
After discussions facilitated by the Maxilla Advisory Group, it was agreed that the future of bays 17-19 will be led by a smaller group of recruited individuals, who will be supported by a project manager. Based on her work with the ‘Save Wornington College’ campaign, as well as other campaigns and community-led projects, Gabrielle Tierney was appointed to devise a recruitment process for interested parties. In partnership with the council, the recruited group would then move forward in the process of co-designing the Maxilla Bays, with the local community and for the local community, alongside Adult Social Care.
In October 2019, Gabrielle spoke to a range of stakeholders in order to understand the context surrounding the Maxilla Bays. Among the stakeholders that were consulted were MAG meeting attendees, Latimer City collaborators, councillors and council officers, as well as other local residents with a stake in the project. From these conversations, an open recruitment process began. From this, candidates were asked to fulfill 3 criteria; capacity, commitment and competence. The application process was inclusive and accessible, and an extension was granted for a ring-fenced group of potentially interested parties whom were missed due to the original deadline for applications.
Interviews took place in February 2020 at Bay 20. 10 applications were made and 7 were shortlisted and invited to interviews. The interview panel consisted of Cllr Addenbrooke, who represented Adult Social Care, Cllr Cyron who represented community engagement aspect of the project, Isis Amlak, a diversity expert with extensive experience of working with the local community and Rian Jacobs, a young volunteer from Lancaster West who volunteers with a local, award-winning charity, Solidarity Sports. The panel originally appointed 6 local residents, 2 of whom subsequently left. In July 2020, the remaining 4 Directors appointed several local young people who started shortly after their recruitment.
The Maxilla City board is now made up of 3 young people out of the 5 that have been recruited. It was important that the board for Maxilla City was youth-led, as we believe that our local young people should be empowered to make and be involved in decisions that concern their local community spaces. Although our intention for the space is to cater for the needs of both young people and the wider community, it is important to the board that the voices of our young community were amplified in this process. The impact that the Grenfell Tower had on young community members was significant and their need for a space to create, collaborate and destress was exemplified by their own creation of Latimer City. This is why we have ensured that a majority of the Maxilla City board consists of young people and why we have maintained the word “city” in the name of the organisation, to honour the legacy of Latimer City.