News story

Livity wins Big Society Award

Brixton based youth engagement agency improves lives of young people, creating opportunities for their voices to be heard.

Livity, a Brixton based youth engagement agency, has been awarded the Prime Minister’s Big Society Award for its outstanding work improving the lives of young people in the UK and creating opportunities for young voices to be heard across the highest levels of commercial and political arenas.

Since its launch in 2001, Livity has set up and managed a number of different youth engagement projects where they involve young people to co-create campaigns, content and communities.  Flagship projects include Live Magazine, the UK’s leading youth magazine created by young people and read by 15% of all UK youth aged 16 to 24, and Penguin’s teen website Spinebreakers, the first online community for book lovers that is both for teens and by teens.

Mr Cameron said:

 ”My warmest congratulations to all the dedicated Livity employees across the country and all the young people who have got involved in their inspirational campaigns and projects.

The number of empty buildings and disused spaces across the country is a national tragedy so what they have achieved through the ‘somewhereto_‘  project in making available 300,000 square feet to young people is hugely uplifting.

This is a great example of the Big Society in action and just shows what a social enterprise can do. A fantastic achievement.  I wish them every success for the future.

Another of Livity’s stand out projects, somewhereto_ was launched in 2010 to create a lasting impact from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by helping young people find the space they need to do the things they love within sport, culture and the arts.  The idea behind this innovative movement, funded by Legacy Trust UK, was to liberate underused, disused and empty spaces in the UK and get everyone thinking creatively about their communities.

Last year somewhereto_ were invited to 10 Downing Street and given free rein to use the space. Young people showcasing their passions included free runners back flipping through the hallway into the garden, boxers sparing in the Pillared State Drawing Room and poetry group Rubix Collective performing in the State Dining Room.

The project has helped thousands of young people to find somewhereto_ do the things they love. To date, the somewhereto_ achievements include:

  • Having unlocked 300,000 square feet of space across the UK, the equivalent of approximately £2m in rental value.
  • Currently having 681 free spaces across the UK available for young people.
  • Previous success stories from somewhereto_ include No. 10 Downing Street opening its doors to young people to display their talents in spoken word, free running and boxing.

Sean Mahoney, part of Poetry Collective Rubix, said:

somewhereto_ has been a huge help to myself and my poetry collective, Rubix. Being able to perform poetry in 10 Downing Street is an honour and moment I’ll remember for the rest of my life.

Michelle Clothier, Managing Director of Livity, said:

 ”This award resonates with us as an organization because it appreciates why we do the work we do and acknowledges the socially responsible ethics that drive us on a day to day basis.  For over a decade we have been improving the lives of young people, fighting their corner and providing the support for them to do that independently.  Big brands, big ideas, big media partnerships are our bloodline to reach out effectively to young people across the UK and it’s great to get recognition for this.

Notes to Editors

• Livity is a youth engagement agency that mentors young people from a broad range of backgrounds to co-create campaigns, content and communities for brands, government, charities and broadcasters - benefiting businesses, individuals and society.

• Brixton based, with a second office in Cape Town, South Africa, Livity was established in 2000 and since then clients have included Google, Penguin, Olympic Legacy Trust, NSPCC, PlayStation O2, Channel 4 and Lambeth Council.

External site: Video: Somewhereto_ freerunning in Downing Street

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