"They are doing something unique: applying one of the most modern
techniques, youth marketing, to one of the most enduring challenges,
helping young people fulfill their potential.
The result is their flourishing youth marketing agency, Livity, their
pioneering television production company, Dubplate, and their
successful youth training initiative, LIVE.
And now they are planning their next endeavour, an enterprise hub
housing thirty local businesses, each of whom will commit to doing
something for young people.
What is most striking about Sam and Michelle is the ease with whichthey combine business acumen and drive with care and empathy for each
of the young people whose lives they touch.
They have created a dynamic business and a safe and welcoming place
that engages young people on their terms and gives them opportunities
to develop their talents and ambitions.
And these aren't just ideas but plans the Livity team are trying to
turn into a reality in their local area. Their next plan is to develop
a major office space in the area to serve as a hub of social
enterprise. The hub would house up to thirty small businesses, along
with a media centre and cooking facilities for use in training, with
each business receiving subsidised rent in return for hosting a young
person at risk as an apprentice. LIVE would sit at the heart of the
project and help support the young people, who would use the space to
engage in training and work opportunities.
Sam and Michelle have very big ambitions for how their model could
spread, and hearing them explain not only the values but the logic
that underpins their work, one can't but help feel they may just have
what it takes to realise their dreams."
Gordon Brown, 2007
"As soon as a young person walks through the door, they know that it is a working environment, and it is made clear what is expected of them. That's where the commitment and inclusive approach of the staff is crucial. They make it clear to the young people the heights they are expected to reach, but they also make it clear that they will be supported every step of the way to make sure they get there. This goal-orientated approach leads to an amazing amount of 'incidental' learning: this is not training for the sake of it, it's training to make sure deadlines and quality standards are met. This as well as having the opportunity to work alongside highly skilled professional journalists, photographers and designers - is fantastic preparation for the wider world of work." – Andy Hamflett, CEO, UK Youth Parliament.
“An excellent example of a public, private and voluntary sector partnership delivering a much needed resource in south London.” – Dave Dowie, Head of Lewisham Youth Service.
“LIVE is a magazine for young people, not dependant on advertising and therefore has been able to become a real voice for young people without being altered by commercial agendas.” – Averil Ledsham, Connexions Manager for Lambeth.
"My general confidence has not only improved very much, I gained it at LIVE in the first place. I have learnt a lot, this space is just not enough. To love and be friendly with people and confidence that people actually appreciate me for me. That someone else wants me to make a good future for my children and me. That there are still good people in the world. I love LIVE.” - Dianne, 20, from Downham
“LIVE is a good opportunity for people that don’t have qualifications and want hands on experience. Everyone needs to be a part of this ASAP!" - Jodie, 19, from Brixton
“Since I have been at LIVE, I have developed skills such as learning how to write like a professional journalist, how to conduct myself professionally in a working environment, and to motivate myself and get the results I want out of life. In the space of six months, I now see my future as very bright and productive. I am happy that my life is worth something and people want to help me in becoming successful woman. I also want young people to know that the positive approach to society can really work and it is worth it. This is one true success story. Thanks LIVE." – Kalise, 20, from Forest Hill.
“He is full of beans and immensely proud of his features in Live, as is all the family. He is currently feeling really positive, emotionally happy and full of confidence, and we want to thank you all for helping Dan. His self-esteem is always at a high when he is around your office and other Live members. I only hope that he can stay on the road he's on. We have seen him so suddenly crumble and follow the road of self-destruction. You are all a big support network to both Daniel and myself because I see the positive outcomes.” – Parents of Daniel, 17.