Former Mayor Althea Smith to speak at CIBN Saint Lucia

| May 8, 2014

Caribbean news. It’s now three weeks before the Caribbean International Business Network (CIBN) Saint Lucia, scheduled for Thursday 15th May 2014 at the Saint Lucia High Commission 1 Collingham Gardens, London SW5 0HW.

Speakers include but not limited to the formal opening of the networking session by His Excellency Dr Ernest Hilaire, High Commissioner for St Lucia; a presentation by Chief Executive Officer of Invest St Lucia McHale Andrew via video link; and others.

One keynote speakers is former Mayor of Southwark Althea Smith. See Althea’s profile below:

Althea Smith Feature

Leadership and Politics

Althea Smith is an established award-winning leader of the highest order.  Originally coming from a background in nursing, Althea is one of the few people who has made a successful transition into politics, while remaining favourably embedded in the hearts of her community.  Having been called to the roles of Mayor of Southwark, Councillor of Nunhead and Shadow Cabinet Member, she has overseen, spearheaded and challenged policies to achieve the best interest for the community.

Mayor of Southwark

In 2011 Althea was appointed to the role of Deputy Mayor of Southwark rising to the role of Mayor of Southwark the following year.    Her Mayoral role propelled her into a position of influence, where she could implement change on a major scale.  Althea was able to oversee the implementation of projects, activities and policies which supported diversity and encouraged greater cohesion between diverse groups.  Equally, important Althea supported and continues to support the development of education and enterprise initiatives which enhance the socio-economic outcomes of both young people and adults.    For her valuable contribution to society and Southwark, she was granted Freedom of the City of London.

Councillor (Shadow Cabinet Member)

Althea Smith has a longstanding career as a leader of excellence.  As a political figure, she has been at the forefront of important decision-making since 2007, when she commenced her journey as Shadow Cabinet Member for Culture.  The following year, she was appointed to the role of Shadow Cabinet Member for Youth and Communities, where she successfully advocated for greater resources and opportunities for young people and more community spaces.  As a direct result, Southwark’s subsequent regeneration projects saw an increase in youth and community facilities and greener spaces.

Community Leader

Althea has embraced her calling as a ‘people’s representative for more than a decade and continues to be a natural community leader.  She has been the Chair of SPCCG Tenants and Residents Groups, Treasurer of Southwark Group of Tenants Organisation, Chair of Southwark Police Consultative Group, as well as chair of Southwark Planning Committee.  In her more recent years she has held the role of Vice Chair of Kiwanis UK and Lieutenant Elect of Kiwanis London Ltd, an organisation set up to support young people globally.

As a well-known and respected member of Southwark, althea has successfully built a rapport with people of all age groups and from all backgrounds.   Her empathetic and solutions-based approach has enabled her to build effective relationships with members of the community from diverse backgrounds, and from grassroots upwards.   This has enabled Althea to be an excellent mediator between the local community and the police, as well as educate local people about the impact of government policies on their lives.

Her philanthropic and caring approach to addressing social issues ‘head-on’ is based on her strong desire to create a better society for everyone.  This has put her at the forefront of positive change for both young people and the wider community.   As an advocate for youth progression, community cohesion and equality, she has been a key note speaker on both national and international platforms, where she shares her ideas about sustainable social development.

Children and Young People’s Development

Althea has been an active member of developing young people in the community for many years.   She facilitates workshops and focus groups, which provide young people with a voice and a platform to address challenges affecting their lives.  She continues to advocate on behalf of young people while developing relationships with a wealth of organisations in the delivery of programmes which address their needs such as; health, well-being, employment, education, finance, crime etc.

Delivering Gang Workshops

In partnership with other organisations, Althea has delivered Gang workshops for young people in the community, as part of her outreach work.   This direct approach has helped young people to understand the dangers of gang life and has supported them to make better choices.  Her work extends to helping young people, currently in gangs to develop exit strategy.

2011 London Riots

2011 saw a major event which devastated communities in England.  The 2011 riot was considered to be a revolt from young people about how they felt they were being treated in society.   While many people remained behind closed doors, in fear of their lives and their property, Althea played an instrumental role to disperse rioters.  She directly confronted young people who were rioting, reasoned with them and encouraged them to go home.   Her ability to influence these young people was directly attributable to the respect and trust she has built up with young people over the years.  Althea’s courageous actions, earned her the Bravery Award from the Southwark Borough Commander.

Young People and Sports

Althea’s encouraging young people to engage in physical activities.  This has seen the development of a transatlantic partnership between Britain and Brazil in preparation for the next Olympics.  The twinning of Southwark and Brazil is the start of an international relationship through which young people can learn about each other’s cultures, heritage and communities.  Pre-dating the Olympic legacy, Althea has been the Vice President for the Burgess Park Cricket Academy, where her remit has been to encourage girls to participate in the game.

Youth Support

Althea has adopted a quad-focal approach which includes; supporting young people, their family, building relationships with the organisations they are engaged with, and exploring broader opportunities for their positive development.   In her role as Chair of Southwark Police Consultative Group, Althea was the lead adviser on bridging the relationship between the police and young people.  She was also the appointed ‘responsible adult’ for young people who were arrested by the police. She continues to support parents and families of children who are facing challenges and advocates for better resources to support them.

Awards, Accolades and Accreditations

  • Freedom of the City
  • Bravery Award (Southwark Borough Commander for 2011 Riots)

Key Positions Held

  • Mayor of Southwark 2012/13
  • Deputy Mayor of Southwark and Vice Chair of Planning (2011- 2012)
  • Shadow Cabinet member for Youth/Communities (2008-2010)
  • Shadow Cabinet Member for Culture 2007-2008)
  • Chair of Southwark Police Consultative Group
  • Chair of the PNP London UK to date



Children and Young People Partnerships/Engagement 
  • Looked After Children
-Social Services and specialist businesses.
  • Young People Who Are NEET or at risk of becoming NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training)
-Education, Job Centre Plus , Local Councils           and businesses.
  • Teenage Parents
-Organisations that support young parents.
  • Young People and The Law
-Youth Offending Team,  Prisons, Police
  • Recreation Facilities, Resources, Opportunities
-Local Authorities, community groups.
  • Family Support
-Parents facing challenges relating to their   children.
  • Global Culture and Experience
-International Partnerships.


Profiles of the other speakers coming up. For details on registering for this event click CaribDirect logo below:

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