Who are Local Village Network and how do we create social change?
At Local Village Network we know that networks are crucial. A lack of networks is a significant and serious barrier to progression and employability. Our purpose is to ensure that every young person has access to positive networks and an equal chance to reach their full potential.
We create significant social change by mobilising positive influences in the community and local organisations to support underprivileged young people in London into employment. We improve social mobility, removing barriers and increasing educational achievement by giving them access to a wide range of professional networks and opportunities they wouldn’t usually have.
One hour might not seem much but collectively our evidence shows that 10 hours with volunteers outside their usual sphere of influence are transformative for young people.
We have been appointed by the DWP to launch our Power of an Hour services in job centres across 4 London Boroughs, Islington, Camden, Haringey and Barnet.
Our innovative digital youth hub supports the delivery of our online sessions in job centres, local FE colleges and youth centres. The Metropolitan Police Service use our digital youth hub as a route to positive engagement on the streets.
We also promote employment, apprenticeship and training opportunities for free – let us know when you are recruiting.
Central to LVN is a collective of compassionate and inspiring volunteers who share their knowledge and expertise with young people to help improve their employability prospects. We are looking for organisations to partner with us to support the Power of an Hour programme and identify volunteers. The returns are significant to you, your employees and the wider community.
This is a direct-action programme. It’s simple and the commitment light. Partners will need to:
- Identify 10 volunteers to donate 1 hour each for a weekly Power of an Hour
- Partners need to commit to a 10-week programme
- Have the capability to deliver online
- Appoint a single point of contact to coordinate with LVN
- Complete a simple registration process
LVN will provide all the materials, supporting documentation and host a P10 briefing session designed to answer any questions and help volunteers maximise their hour. We will let you know the impact you have made on the young people you have met.
Be part of creating a more informed, skilled, confident and diverse future work force. LVN makes volunteering easy, accessible, and impactful. Our Power of Ten Programme offers a unique volunteering platform to make a tangible difference.
We ask professional adults to give just 1 hour – the Power of an Hour.
During the hour, volunteers share with young people:
- Industry insights into a wide range of jobs and sectors
- Life-ready skills
- Short-cuts to employment, from CV writing; job search; prepping for interview
- Knowledge and practical advice on the workplace
How does LVN align with our purpose to address social issues and build resilience of local communities in most urgent need?
A lack of access to positive networks is a significant and serious barrier to a young person’s progression. This is starkly illustrated by the shocking fact that only three in every ten jobs are advertised. It’s still who you know, not what you know that counts. It is the least advantaged that suffer the greatest network poverty. They are the furthest away from the job market and their situation is set to deteriorate further.
In the aftermath of the pandemic, young people will be competing on an uneven playing field for a smaller number of jobs. Networks and the associated life skills, knowledge and confidence they bring have never been more important.
Young people have told us they don’t understand the opportunities and scale of job roles that are in the workplace and would value hearing from a diverse group of people in their areas of interest. They have also told us that they don’t believe that they would be taken seriously when applying for jobs and they don’t have the confidence to attend interviews. Above all, they feel they don’t fit in, that they don’t have a chance.
LVN is here to give young underprivileged people confidence, resilience, know-how and skills to confidently move forward into employment. And we use the local community to do this. At a time of mistrust, we build community cohesion. It is imperative that young people have a network beyond their usual sphere of influence in order to give them hope for the future.
Current Conditions: LVN Funding down But Demand up
Demand for LVN services has risen and LVN’s conventional fund-raising platforms all but vanished since Covid-19. With youth unemployment predicted to rise to 27% by the end of 2020, LVN is experiencing a huge increase in requests to access our methodology and technology.
Demand is coming from every quarter, both local and central government, other statutory providers and charities. Some notable examples:
- Partnership negotiations are well advanced with the Department of Work and Pensions to bring LVN to employability coaches, job centres and outreach workers.
- The Metropolitan Police has started using the LVN app to signpost youth services.
- Several London Boroughs have approached us to deliver in targeted youth service teams; Pupil Referral units and Care Leaver support programmes.
- Three FE colleges in Barnet, City & Islington and Croydon (representing a roll of 14,000 learners) want us to extend our activities to support vulnerable16-18 year olds at risk of dropping out of education.
What LVN need: a long-term partnership for sustainable impact
LVN’s fundraising strategy is to identify four strategic partners committed to a two-three year relationship. LVN trail-blazers with the capacity to:
Increase Employee Volunteering Opportunities
Individual: LVN’s community inclusion model is based on volunteering. We offer an ideal platform for those new to volunteering – very flexible approach, 60 minute commitment, ability to volunteer in pairs, deliver to groups or 121s, like it you can do more, no long term commitment. All sessions are virtual. A taste of current opportunities:
- City & Islington College weekly employability skills sessions
- Mary’s Youth Club Homework Club
- The Zone
- Help grow the LVN volunteer bank
Corporate: The LVN Corporate Further Education Partnership programme offers organisations a more structured volunteer programme. Working alongside local FE colleges, this is an academic year project with 10 Power of an Hour sessions each featuring a different, relevant business discipline (planning, marketing, economic modelling and forecasts, legal, analysts, business development etc). It is structured around a corporate challenge e.g. how to improve diversity in business or launching a new retail app.
Pro Bono Support for LVN HQ Team
Build on existing activity including review and upgrade of LVN Youth Practitioner Training; advise on using monitoring and evaluation methodology to develop impact assessment models; (see corporate pro bono leaflet for other ideas).
How might professionals at my organisation engage with LVN?
LVN’s success is down to our amazing volunteers and we’d love your volunteers to become part of our movement and to champion our cause. We appreciate that everyone is busy, that’s why we ask for just an hour of people’s time – the Power of an Hour. If they’d like to give more, then we’d love that too. But giving just one hour of your time, explaining your journey, telling the young people about the challenges you overcame is hugely beneficial.
The young people we have supported have benefitted hugely from work experience that our brilliant corporate partners have offered. It has given them insight, work-ready skills and confidence to enter employment. A work experience programme would be an invaluable experience for our young people.
We always welcome extra funds into our pot, so any fundraising activity is always very much appreciated, whether that’s a bake sale or running the marathon, we appreciate every £1 you can raise! As a grassroots charity, pro bono support is really valuable to us and we really appreciate the ability and opportunity to tap into our partner’s resources and expertise.
We would appreciate the opportunity to work with your Corporate Citizenship Manager (or equivalent) to help implement our strategy and business plan.
How your funds would be spent: High Quality Return on Your Investment
£10,000 will fund one corporate/college programme where a BTEC Business Studies Class will be set a real life challenge by you and you will run 10 sessions to help them solve the challenge. This corporate programme will support 20 students to develop their skills, networking and confidence as well as give them an excellent content for their CV.
£5,000 will train one college tutor or employment champion at a FE college in the LVN methodology and technology which will allow them to run more interactive, real life homework clubs and employability sessions. This will support over 1,000 students.
£5,000 will train one employment coach at a Pupil Referral Unit or Youth Offenders Service in the LVN methodology and technology. This will enable them to show over 20 young people in their care who are heading down the wrong path, that there are other options and that people do care about them and will support them to make the most of these opportunities.
£20,000 will fund a social media campaign to attract more young people to download the LVN app and take advantage of the Power of the Hour. This could attract 500 young people.