The LVE Charitable Foundation has been touching young people’s lives across the Borough since 2016, making a real difference by giving new opportunities, skills and guidance. Everything the Foundation does is designed to help young people achieve their full potential by effecting social awareness, positive change and personal development.
2019 was another year of great achievements, helping more than 3,500 young people. Here’s a snapshot of some of our projects and events. We look forward to 2020 and have some exciting new projects to announce.
Our LEADERS Community programme just goes from strength to strength. Through this project, we support over 160 young people aged between seven and eighteen years, every week.
They receive classes in dance, drama, the spoken word and singing. The opportunities our funding provides also gives them access to outside courses in leadership skills, first aid and community dance qualifications.
LEADERS held an annual fundraiser in December in Leyton Great Hall, where family and friends saw amazing performances from the young people, raising £1,200 on the day.
Don’t Get Court
We have now run numerous Don’t Get Court workshops, covering seven schools and a full pupil referall unit across the London Boroughs of Waltham Forest and Newham. We have also just signed up some schools and pupil referral units in Enfield and Haringey, with the support of the police, so will be running further sessions this year in these boroughs.
Our CEO, Karen Bellamy, also met with the Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis, Dame Cressida Dick DBE QPM to talk about the issues of gun and knife crime in Waltham Forest and across the capital. The meeting took place in Leyton and Cressida expressed her support for the project. Following that meeting, Karen was invited to 10 Downing Street to meet with advisers to the Prime Minister on gun and knife crime. Again, this meeting was extremely well received and we await further developments.
We are currently working with the police from Haringey and Enfield and will be hosting a meeting shortly in Hale Village to include teachers from mainstream schools and referral units.
This year, we are planning to expand the programme to include a second day. This will be court-based, in The Chamber, with actors, real lawyers and police officers and a High Court judge playing out a real case where someone has already been prosecuted.
The workshop will be live-streamed into Leyton Great Hall, where pupils from three schools will be able to see the prosecution unfold and act as the jury. There will be breaks for them to discuss the case and the day will include special guests including a mother whose son was killed in a mistaken identity shooting and a perpetrator who will talk about his experience behind bars.
We are lucky to be working with the very experienced music, TV and theatre producer, Simon Hanning, who is working with us pro-bono. Simon is also is making a promotional video for the Charity and this programme as well as donating £15,000 worth of equipment for the Leyton Great Hall. We are hugely grateful for Simon’s help.
We are currently looking at a University to partner with to evaluate the effectiveness of the programme.
In July we held our second Junior Citizens programme in partnership with the Metropolitan Police, involving 29 schools. The purpose of the programme is to help young people leaving primary school in July and starting secondary school in September become aware of some of the challenges of that transition.
We give them tools to help make the transition easier and cover a wide range of issues to help prepare them, from bullying to how to stay safe online and on the streets. In total, we have now worked with more than 3,900 young people over two years.
Choices and Consequences
Choices & Consequences is a play about girls in gangs written by our CEO Karen Bellamy, and inspired by her previous work with girls involved with gangs. Karen is now working with Simon Hanning to bring it to life. They are currently talking to young people in Haringey about getting involved in the production, from acting to set design and sound and lighting.
Simon has, and will continue to, give his time free on this project too, which is amazing considering how busy he is. He has also lent the charity a full set of theatre lights and mixing equipment together with a fireproof stage curtain. The play will ultimately be used as a teaching tool in schools.
The Charity will also be contacting the Mayor of London and the Home Secretary, the Rt. Hon. Pritie Patel, to support the project.
Don’t Get Stressed, Get Chilled
We are working towards offering stress management and relaxation techniques in schools and colleges, as we all know that our young people are more stressed and anxious than ever before.
Our aim is to give young people and teachers the skills to recognise the signs of stress and know what to do. The classes will also look at self-management, being aware of the effects of stress and what happens when it turns to anxiety.
The course is being adapted from a very successful piece of work that Karen Bellamy has already delivered and we hope to start it in Summer this year.
Inter-generational Afternoon Tea
We hosted an afternoon tea for 200 grandparents and their grandchildren to help to break down barriers and create a dialogue between the generations. With music, games and dancing, a real connection was made and we hope to do the same this year, on an even bigger scale.
“For me to be able to spend time with my grandchildren, getting dressed up nice and fancy and coming to this beautiful building has meant the world to me,” said one Grandmother who attended.
Radcliffe Chambers, Lincoln’s Inn
Following an introduction at a dinner with the Lord Mayor of London, Karen Bellamy met the CEO of Radcliffe Chambers, Fiona Fitzgerald to discuss the work of the LVE Foundation with young people. Fiona was very impressed with the work of the Charity and we are talking to her about organising a legal employment workshop and advice sessions for young people interested in a career in law.
Fundraising for LVECF
We held a number of events during the year which raised money for the Charity to go towards delivering and developing some of our key programmes. These included:
Bugsy Malone was an incredible immersive theatre experience held over an entire weekend, with a cast of over 200 young performers from the community and enjoyed by an audience of over 650. We shared the ticket sales with Theatre 17 and raised £1,800 for the LVECF.
An evening of soul featuring an O’Jays tribute band and the respected Northern Soul DJ, Keith Stewart raised over £500. Attending was Grammy award winner, Junior Giscombe who performed an impromptu set on the night, which thrilled the audience.
We are now working with him on a project to deliver a seminar to 1000 young men in one day about not getting involved in crime which we hope will happen later in the year.
Throughout the year we also made many donations and in-kind donations. This has included £89,000 of ‘free’ space for the local community, ranging from fundraising events where we have helped with the planning, to workshop space and community meetings. These in-kind donations have helped many local groups directly and also many thousands within the Borough who have been the beneficiaries of the community organisations we have helped.
We have also supported a number of charities through donating money and supplies. These have included Street Angels, Salvation Army and PI84u, where we have donated food and toiletries to the value of £500.
Street Angels is a Waltham Forest-based charity that provides food, clothing, toiletries and haircuts to street people and PI84u provides food parcels and hot meals to the needy. We also bought a shed for Street Angels, so that they can store their donations of clothing and toiletries.
We also supported Plates For You, a homeless project, helping them with a fundraiser, visiting on Christmas Eve and donating £250 for their multi-faith weekend where volunteers come together to cook and serve food for the homeless.
2019 was an incredible year and we are very proud of what we achieved. We’d like to thank everyone who has helped us and supported the work we do. We look forward to a new decade, helping support more of the amazing young people in our Borough.
If you’d like to know more about any of the programmes delivered by The LVE Charitable Foundation or how you can become involved, get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.