Social impact is a hot topic for many of the world’s social businesses right now, and is gaining momentum with other businesses globally which are becoming more accountable for sustainability and having a positive impact, alongside ‘doing business’. Google any large company along with ‘social impact’ or ‘sustainability’ and you’re likely to see what efforts they’re making to have a positive social and/or environmental effect on the world.
So what is social impact? It’s fairly self-explanatory – simply the effect that something has on the surrounding community. Its more complex older sibling is social return on investment, or SROI, in which a financial value is put on that effect. Social impact bonds take this to another level – organisations who significantly improve a specific social outcome (such as offending rates) get paid for their success out of a pot of public sector money that was saved by the outcome not happening. Social Finance launched the first SIB in 2010 with the fantastic charity St Giles Trust.
We’ve always been fans of ‘stats and stories’, and so have been informally measuring our impact, or more accurately outputs – which was the first step for us – for years, and feel immensely proud of the young people that have achieved so much after receiving a little ‘foot up’ from Livity and it’s projects, most notably Live magazine. Check out our youth engagement reports ( Youth Engagement Report Nov 10 to April 11 Youth engagement report May to Oct 11 ) each covering six monthly periods up to the end of last year (next one coming soon, watch this space!).
And now we’re trying to stay ahead of the curve, or at least move with it, by formally measuring our social impact. We have developed a social impact methodology with the help of the Sustainability Services Team at Deloitte (Deloitte are behind the well known IRIS reporting standards which measure social, environmental and financial performance), and we’re in the process of putting it into practice on one of our projects as I write!
To get to this point, we collated information from key stakeholders including our young people, current, potential and previous employees, clients and funders, referral organisations, local government, academia, and the media (and we’re very grateful to all those who helped!), and used this information to create a framework, within which are various ‘indicators’, i.e. the things that we’ll measure. This could be confidence levels, achieving a qualification, or finding a job for example.
Four of us are leading on social impact at Livity, but everyone will be involved or trained in it in some capacity, and to prove how seriously we’re taking it, it’s become one of our Leadership reporting areas, and is even one of our five business priorities for this financial year. Our aim is to have a combined social and financial report at the end of each year.
If you’re interested in finding out more, there are many organisations and systems set up to make sense of this rather complex topic, and many more that are measuring the impact of what they do and reporting on it – check out some of our friends’ work for starters: Guardian sustainable business, Leap Confronting Conflict, and SIAA.
Happy reading, and watch this space for more of Livity’s social impact news!…
Caroline Roake, Head of People
Even the slightly questionable elements of London 2012’s Closing Ceremony couldn’t undermine the optimism the Olympics has brought to the UK, despite a largely sceptical nation in the run up.
Although the initial #winning attitude might subside, hopefully what will remain is the Legacy we committed ourselves to when winning the bid in 2005; “As well as the physical legacy of the London 2012 Games, which is clearly visible in London’s magnificent new Olympic Park and the transformation of east London, new initiatives and programmes are creating sustainable social, economic and sporting legacies at home in the UK and around the world” (LOCOG, 2005).
This ambition ran throughout London 2012, from the strapline ‘inspire a generation’, to the Opening Ceremony’s lighting of the cauldron. Young people were at the centre, and hopefully this will continue as conversations turn to how we can fulfil our promise.
As one of the core nationwide legacy projects for young people, somewhereto_ aims to go someway to achieving this, offering space for young people to get involved in sport, art and culture.
Clive Jones of Legacy Trust UK, the project’s funder described on BBC News how somewhereto_ had “unlocked £1.3 million of rented property, the size of the Olympic Stadium” for “young people wanting to do something”. He summarised, “so that’s the way the legacy continues; young people continue it”.
As a project dedicated to opening space for young people, it seemed only natural that somewhereto_ would have presence across the Olympic Park, throughout the Games, providing spectator entertainment through the wealth of talented individuals involved in the project, having found spaces previously across the country.
Performers included Krisztian the yo-yo maestro, Elli Ingram a female singer from Brighton, Mouthy Poets, a spoken word collective from the East Midlands, the parkour crew Art of Urban Movement, Aim High, a London based dance academy, and a number of nationwide bands, including Skedaddle, Melonstomp and Project Multivitamin.
And if you missed it don’t worry, keep an eye out for us throughout the Paralympic Games.
Kate Harwood for somewhereto_
photography provided by Marc Sethi, http://www.marcsethi.com/
The traditional university route isn’t for everyone, and although you wouldn’t know it from the way the media groans on, there are opportunities out there for creative, entrepreneurial and passionate young people if they just know where to look.
In 2011, we piloted our Livity Digital Marketing Apprenticeships.
We placed young people in entry level marketing roles in big brands such as the Guardian, Barclays and TalkTalk. Our apprenticeships combined ‘earning and learning’ with a little bit of added Livity magic – such as specialist training from Google gurus and mentoring every step of the apprentice journey.
We wanted to break the cycle of “no experience equals no job”, “who you know” and “grad’s only”. So its great to report that since they graduated in July, our apprentices have had no shortage of opportunities – be it further employment, offers of internships in the music industry and membership of an exclusive speaker programme for up and coming advertising execs run from Google’s offices.
And even better, in September, we will be recruiting the next generation of Livity digital marketing apprentices!
Are you 18-24, and interested in marketing, media or entertainment? Perhaps you’ve just finished your A levels and aren’t sure where to go next…
Email us your CV and area of interest to email@example.com and we’ll keep your details on file. And don’t forget to follow us on twitter @LivityAprntshps or like our facebook page to be the first to hear about recruitment info and new opportunities.
And if you’d like to find out more about the Google specialist training we provided for our apprentices, watch the video below.
Emily Kerr, Apprenticeships Co-ordinator
Spinning Jenny. Ring a bell? Do memories of history lessons learning about the Industrial Revolution come flooding back?
The London Festival 2012 marks the culmination of four years of activity by the Cultural Olympiad; inspiring creativity in arts and culture in the lead up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
And somewhereto_ was part of it with Project Triangle in Burnley on Saturday July 21 and Tyntesfield Takeover in Bristol on Sunday July 22.
Project Triangle showcased a wealth of young talent from the North West region, covering a spectrum of activities from free-running to singing to knitting and graffiti and hosted by two young comperes Kajol and Aeman. With the surrounding hills acting as a convenient sound trap, the music could be heard across the town – a strategic marketing tool to bring in the crowds!
The event attracted an audience from across the region, with acts from neighbouring areas keen to take part in opportunities to show their talent and in many cases offer workshops to share their skills with their peers.
Running the event alongside the somewhereto_ coordinators from the North West and Yorkshire and Humber regions, were a team of project volunteers and champions, an army of branded yellow and black keen to help out, meet new people and ultimately have fun.
Alongside the success of offering young people a platform to share their creativity and inspire others, the event demonstrated another success of somewhereto_ – using underused space creatively and inspiring others to do the same.
Held in partnership with Burnley Borough Council, the showcase took place at Weavers’ Triangle, a significant conservation area looking to increase use and attract new visitors from the surrounding areas.
On the bank of the Leeds and Liverpool canal, Weavers’ Triangle is a collection of industrial buildings, at its height during the latter part of the 18th century, one of the world’s largest producers of cotton cloth. During this period its population had grown from 4,000 to over 100,000 which considering its current population is approximately 88,000, is hugely impressive.
With aims to restore the area, events such as Project Triangle are key to attracting new audiences and highlighting the value of preserving areas of community heritage, and hopefully will lead to other similar events in future.
To find out more about somewhereto_, other events taking place and how you can be involved, please visit the website, or call our central support on 0844 243 9299.
24 July 2012
For five years now, Livity has been fortunate enough to receive support of various kinds from the amazing Tom’s Trust.
Set up in memory of a young man called Tom ap Rhys Pryce who was murdered by gang affiliated teen muggers on his way home to his fiancee Adele from his job as a successful lawyer, the Trust is run by his parents John and Estella, his former employers at Linklaters; Andrew, Alan and Michael, and his friend Callum, Livity’s Creative Director, in their spare time.
The Trust is dedicated to tackling the route causes of violent street crime by enabling organisations that are already doing great things to help young people, to do even more.
In Livity and Live Magazine’s case, that means enabling us to provide pastoral care, positive experiences and one-on-one mentoring to young people with the greatest needs and with the most challenging personal circumstances, that we and other providers would otherwise have struggled to cater for.
To learn more about this and the dozens of other fantastic youth organisations Tom’s Trust supports, go to www.tomstrust.com or have a read of the most recent newsletter….