Lyfta storyworld: Keep London Smiling - UK

Content Team
Share this page
Meet Transport for London station officer Sylvain who moved to London from Côte d'Ivoire via France and made it his mission to bring smiles to the faces of commuters who pass through his station. Through small acts of kindness and conversations, Sylvain is able to make others happy and feel more connected. In this storyworld and associated lesson plans and resources, students will learn about multicultural London and explore themes of loneliness, mental health and well being.
Trailer to storyworld Keep London Smiling

Making a change

Sylvain in storyworld Keep London Smiling
Sylvain in storyworld Keep London Smiling
In this storyworld we explore 360° spaces and soundscapes showing Brockley overground station where Sylvain has worked for almost four years as well as the park where he spends time reflecting.
Nestled within a small neighbourhood in south London, he shares how he noticed no one smiling when he first began his job. Despite facing his own struggles with loneliness, Sylvain asks himself "how can I help to make everyone smile when they come to the station and when they leave the station"?
blue quote

"Being able to make at least one person smile means everything to me."

blue line

London is a lonely place

In the film, we often hear Sylvain saying "sweet", meaning 'good' or 'cool'. However, we learn that his journey living abroad has not always been 'sweet'. He remarks on the different attitudes or "vibes" he's encountered in the UK and France in comparison to Africa, where he felt more of a sense of community.
In a 360° scene, we see Sylvain alone in a wintery, local park where he quietly reflects on a bench overlooking London and in the gardens. We also visit Sylvain in his home where he speaks, in French, on his mobile phone, to his wife who still resides in Côte d'Ivoire. Sylvain shares his struggles with feeling alone, particularly after losing his only relative who lived in the UK.
blue quote

"There is no sense of community, so you have to create that around you with people that you work with and see day to day"

blue line

It takes courage to be kind

Sylvain sharing a laugh with a customer
Sylvain sharing a laugh with a customer
Throughout the film we see scenes of a busy station and as commuters hurriedly enter or exit, Sylvain can be seen enthusiastically exchanging greetings of "good afternoon", "good evening" or "have a good weekend".
He also assists others with directions, ticket purchases or stops to have a chat with 'regulars'. Sylvain speaks on his love for his community and the importance of respecting each other despite our diverse backgrounds. "I like to believe that everyone loves me as well". We are able to see how through these small acts of kindness how Sylvain overcomes his feelings of loneliness.
In a rich media article students can learn about London's long history of migration, hosting multilingual/ multi-ethnic and diverse populations and the benefits it brings the city, country and each other.
blue quote

"Keep up your smiles, that will keep you younger and healthier."

blue line

Keep London Smiling - at a glance

  • Sweet: A powerful short documentary film about Sylvain
  • 3 interactive 360° spaces including, Sylvain at the station, Sylvain at the park, Sylvain on the bench.
  • Rich media articles covering:
    • Multicultural London
    • London's Transport
    • Mental health and wellbeing: Loneliness
Character & Values
Cultural Capital
Global Learning
Human Stories
Social Emotional Learning
Diversity Equity Inclusion
Personal Development
Sustainability & Global Citizenship