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Presentation to Team Saphira
/ 13 February 2017

Students help design new worship and community centre

Pupils from Burlington Danes Academy, a Church of England ARK school in White City, recently took part in a competition organised by the Diocese of London to design a new place of worship for the Old Oak Common development.

Recruited into teams drawn from across four different year groups, the students were charged with designing a new worshipping space at the heart of the regeneration project, along with other amenities for the community, including a cultural centre, affordable housing and retail units to help fund the development.

As part of the project, students visited St Katherine’s Westway, a local Anglican church, and spoke with an architect for inspiration. They were then put to work designing their proposals which they presented to a judging panel that included Colin Lovell, Programme Management Officer at the Diocese of London, and the Venerable Duncan Green, Archdeacon of Northolt.

The winning group, Team Saphira, were chosen due to the quality of their design and presentation. Made up of Year 9s, the winning students include Samara Hackett-Valton, Sara Abuzaid, Fatima Awadalla, and Bithiah Akakpo.

Archdeacon Duncan, who served on the judging panel, said:

“It was a great privilege to be asked to help pick the winning design. It was clear from the outset that all the students taking part had put a lot of time and effort into developing their proposals and picking a final winner was incredibly difficult. Team Saphira put together an extremely impressive, very detailed proposal and should be congratulated on their success.”

Samara Hackett-Valton of Team Saphira said of taking part:

“It was an amazing opportunity to be creative as well as help our community. I feel proud to have contributed and hopefully can continue to be involved with the project.”


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