Young People's Charity 'Local Village Network' Brings Job Hope to Unemployed Youth
10:00 Wednesday 14 April 2021
Youth empowerment charity launches in job centres across North London
Local Village Network is launching in Barnet, Islington, Camden and Haringey where it will be rolling out it’s unique services to support and inspire 18-24 year olds into employment.
A grass roots charity, Local Village Network will offer access to its Power of an Hour micro-mentoring programme which is based on professionals giving just one hour of their time. Whilst one hour might not seem much collectively they make a significant difference.
Local Village Network caught the attention of the Department for Work and Pensions who liked the simplicity of the model and its digital appeal to young people looking for easy access to what they want via an app. Local Village Network’s services will enhance the support available from job centres. Young adults will have the freedom to explore their options and get real–time help from people sharing their advice and expertise to help shorten the route into employment. Local Village Network also offers time-poor professionals a practical, high impact volunteering experience.
Local Village Network has developed a simple system to harness an untapped resource and connect young people with the world of work in a very hands-on direct way. There is no substitute to hearing from people in work doing the job, sharing their experience and insights, tips and hints. By participating in Local Village Network’s Power of an Hour Programme, young people will be fast tracked into sustainable employment.
The Power of an Hour programme has attracted strong interest from business with top employers and organisations such as PwC, the Banijay Group, Wates, Lloyd’s Banking Group, ITV plc, Pearson plc, Galldris, VolkerFitzpatrick, the Guild of Human Resource Professionals, the Financial Conduct Authority, FTI Consulting, STEM, Facebook, the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists and Hogan Lovells, all endorsing the pilot.
Announcing the roll out of Local Village Network to job centres, Founder and CEO Rachael Box said, “I’m overwhelmed by the backing we’ve received across industry. It’s testament to how hard organisations are working to break down barriers to entry and open their doors to support young people at this challenging time. The willingness and commitment of individual employees to give their time is humbling and it affirms my belief in the collective power of the community to effect positive social change.”
Local Village Network’s important offer is vital in 2021 after the catastrophic employment consequences of the pandemic on the young. The jobs market is even more competitive and too many jobs still go unadvertised. Factors which hit disadvantaged youth the hardest as they have very limited, or non-existent, professional networks.
“It is vital that we unlock access to wider employment opportunities and networks for those young people living in poverty, to give left-behind youth the mindset, skills and confidence that will propel them into careers they did not believe were open to them. We encourage everyone who is in this position to speak to their work coaches about this innovative programme”. said Box.
At Barnet jobcentre Jason Baki, Partnership Manager said, “We’re so excited that Local Village Network is bringing its digital youth hub to jobcentres in London and delivering its Power of an Hour to our young claimants. LVN brings a new and innovative approach that will improve the chances of our young people getting into sustainable employment.”
To complement their Power of an Hour Programme, Local Village Network also offers a one–stop youth services signposting app which features over 1500 listings from live jobs vacancies and employability programmes to specialist support and youth activities.
National Recognition for London Village Network's App for Social Change
10:00 Tuesday 25 June 2019
Youth Empowerment Charity Captures Judges’ Imagination at the 2019 Tech4Good Awards
“Young people from deprived communities need access to better networks” states Rachael Box, CEO & Founder of London Village Network (LVN) the charity she set up to provide disadvantaged 16-24 year olds access to positive, potentially life–changing, networks.
The London Village Network ‘Poverty Network’ model is backed up by Liverpool John Moore lecturer in Criminal Justice, Dr Robert Hesketh. His research states that ‘gang culture appeals to disenfranchised young people but ‘social mixing’ offers a way out’. This principle has been LVN’s mantra since the charity was formed in 2015.
“Our theory of change outlines that if young people have access to better networks they are less likely to fall into anti-social behaviour and criminal activity” explains Rachael. “What parent is not concerned about the safety of their kids? With knife crime a constant threat to us all whatever our background, what LVN offers less–privileged young people is more relevant than ever.”
Rachael has used technology to realise her vision and is delighted that her work has just been recognised by selection as a finalist at the 2019 Tech4Good Awards.
“Our model is simple and cost effective. We ask responsible adults to donate just 1 hour of their time ‘The Power of an Hour’ to bring networks usually only afforded to the middle classes to disadvantaged youth living in deprived communities.”
Rachael founded LVN in 2015 after a group of boys were involved in anti-social behaviour outside her flat. Rather than do nothing or call the police, she decided to intervene. Identifying that the group had limited networks. She helped introduce them to networks, identify opportunities and access local youth services. Word spread. This was the start of LVN’s journey, Rachael began to help young people from different parts of London find work. In the face of growing demand, she had to find a more efficient solution to channel requests for help and offers of support – the LVN app was born. App enabling technology that allowed LVN to grow and reach more young people in need.
“Frontline services are losing the battle with disengaged young people. Resources are stretched and young people are suspicious of authority. We need to offer an alternative to youth to help tackle the knife crime epidemic.” Explains Rachael, setting out how she worked with behavioural scientists at Ogilvy Change and educationalists to develop a series of programmes to maximise adults giving just 1 hour of time via the app.
“One hour might not sound much but collectively 10 interactions can be transformative. Our next step is to increase capacity on the streets, to train more youth and frontline community workers on how to deliver our model and increase use of the app. Our vision is to create a system where young people on every estate have access to positive networks and support. I’d like to invite any youth provision in London, and potentially beyond, to get in touch to find out more”.
With Google Director of Software Engineering, Catherine Ruggles, joining the LVN Board of Trustees, the charity is perfectly positioned for growth. All the ingredients for growth are in place.
“Rachael is the embodiment of a social tech entrepreneur. Someone with a big vision for Community Cohesion starting out with limited knowledge of tech but with the foresight to employ it to great effect.” praised Catherine. “I’m looking forward to driving further development of the app. All the ingredients are in place, LVN now has the expertise and the platform to upscale its model across London, and eventually beyond.”
London Village Network’s message is being heard and making an impact. Alderman William Russell (who subject to election) is the next Lord Mayor of the City of London, commented:
“I am delighted London Village Network has been shortlisted for the Tech4Good Awards. I met founder Rachael Box recently and was inspired by both her passion and purpose and am happy that her work has been recognised in this way. She’s developed a simple but effective model for social change, underpinned by app technology that enables less privileged young people to access positive, potentially life-changing networks. Networks that I am convinced will help enrich and empower young people to reach their full potential.”
That the value of the app is being recognised is evident by the growing number of prestigious organisations listing their youth services on it. Dr Angela Herbert MBE, Chair of the Violent Crime Prevention Board, expressed her enthusiasm for the app, “I hope that more organisations will add their services to this useful resource which I’m promoting through our own VCPB.org website. It’s imperative that young people know what support is available.”
“Connecting communities and people through technology is something we feel incredibly passionate about at Samsung”, says Jessie Soohyun Park, Senior CSR Manager at Samsung UK. “LVN not only provides a tech platform that connects disadvantaged young people, but it inspires them to engage, learn and be part of a much bigger network than they could ever have imagined possible. Samsung is proud to be associated with this important social mission.”
London Village Network is marking Tech4Good by launching its first ever crowd-funder and Rachael is hoping the community will get behind the project and pledge support. LVN’s message is clear.
“Across the country communities are crying out for change and support. LVN is designed to deliver this. It’s vital that we unlock access to networks to help young people find their purpose and meaningful employment opportunities. It really does take a village to raise a child. Please don’t feel helpless, get involved.” appeals Rachael, who is hoping that people will back the LVN solution by pledging support on its crowd-funder https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/supportlvn
Celebrating the Power of an Hour
10:00 Tuesday 12 February 2019
London Village Network launches appeal for volunteers
“Every hour counts” states Rachael Box, founder and head of Islington-based London Village Network (LVN) as she kick-starts a campaign to encourage Islington’s adults to give just one hour of their time to support London’s youth.
“It’s critical that we mobilise this massive under-utilised resource” says single-mum and campaigner Rachael. “I have seen the power of an hour. It might not seem much but collectively 5,6,7 hours can be transformative.”
Dip in and out, LVN puts young people in control of finding support through the London Village Network app available 24/7 365 days a year.
“It’s literally in their hands.” explains Rachael. “And our community cohesion app makes it easy to give back. This is a call out to the 1,000s of potential volunteers across Islington and beyond. To give you some scale of this untapped resource, there are over 155,000 active adults in Islington between the age 24-70. They represent 155,000 hours of support. Research shows that an average of 10 one-hour touch points can turn a life around. That’s potentially 15,500 young people that we can help each year.”
LVN is urging the community to come together on Friday 1st March from 18:30-21:30 at the Business Design Centre to promote the life-changing value of networking and to celebrate the power of an hour. All ages are welcome and the evening will include music from BRB and Dante and networking fun all under the humorous eye of comedian Aurie Styla.
Volunteering has never been easier. LVN provides the ideal platform to do so. People are time poor, LVN offers a light touch, low commitment introduction to giving back.
“We need people to come forward. Join in. Give it a go. Register now on the London Village Network app to help us reach our target of 1000 new volunteers. Let’s demonstrate to our young people that there’s a wealth of knowledge and skills available to them.” urges Rachael.
As the crisis on our streets worsens. As cuts to youth services bite. As more families fall victim to knife crime. As the associated economic and social costs spiral, London Village Network is taking steps to turn things around. It is a grassroots charity on a big mission – to get to the heart of knife crime and stop network poverty.
“How can we not back LVN?” asks Kate Simpson, Business Design Centre Marketing Director. “Did you know that 7 out of every ten jobs still goes unadvertised? What chance do disadvantaged young people have especially if they lack access to positive networks. There’s a real risk they’ll fall into anti-social, risky behaviour. Imagine a world where every young person had an equal chance for a positive future. LVN offers this. Rachael’s model is simple, her message hard to resist. I urge people to come along and show solidarity for the young people in our area on Friday 1st March.”