RARE  RISINGSTARS - The UK’s Top 10 Black Students
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Tom Chigbo

The Judges


Tom Chigbo

Tom is a Senior Organiser for Citizens UK, a community organising alliance of faith, education and civil society groups who take action together for the common good. His role involves building relationships across diverse communities, delivering leadership training and campaigning for social justice. Over the last 10 years, Tom has equipped hundreds of people of all ages, faiths and backgrounds with the skills to participate in public life, hold politicians to account and win positive change for their community.

Tom began his career at Citizens UK with Money Mentors, an innovative community financial literacy campaign in response to the UK recession. He then spent 3 years as a Community Organiser in the London Borough of Lambeth, successfully campaigning for the local council to become an accredited Living Wage employer in 2012. He later directed CitySafe, an initiative that rebuilt relationships between young people, small businesses and the Metropolitan Police and opened over 600 safe havens across the capital.

In 2015, he launched Leeds Citizens, an alliance of 30 faith, education and community groups campaigning to address issues of low pay, mental health and youth opportunities around the city. Their campaign successes include a new citywide primary care mental health service, improved dementia care services to better meet the needs of BME communities, £500,000 worth of housing estate repairs, road safety improvements, reduced bus fares for 16-18 year olds and pay rises for the lowest paid staff at Leeds City Council.

Tom holds a BA in Geography from the University of Cambridge, where he made history by becoming the university’s first black Student Union President. During his term of office, he successfully campaigned for the university to fund a Student Advice Service and a multimillion-pound sports centre. His achievements were recognised by Rare, who named him the first No.1 Rare Rising Star in 2009. Tom also has an MA in Community Organising from Queen Mary, University of London. He serves on the Board of Directors for Amnesty International UK, an NGO working around the world to promote human rights.