Blog: Young Peoples Panel and Dragon's Den

London Ventures Targeted Ventures blog: Gaining new perspectives on supporting vulnerable children and families in London

Since April 2018, the London Ventures team have been working across sectors to develop and refine a list of 11 innovative solutions that transform the way local authorities in London support vulnerable children and families. On Monday 14th January and Friday 18th January, we held two key events to further develop our solutions and get feedback at two ends of the spectrum: from the perspective of young people and from a strategic perspective.

Our first event was a Young Person’s Panel, designed to seek feedback from young people across the capital who may have experience of some of the key issues faced by vulnerable children and families. The attendees at the Young Person’s Panel were asked to respond to our solutions in three different ways: positive feedback, critical feedback, and emotional responses. The young people were highly engaged and provided some key insights, for example they showed particular enthusiasm for young people to be empowered to increase their financial literacy and self-management through our personal budgets for young people solution. They reflected that this solution would allow them to feel more independent and prepared for the transition to adulthood. One young person surmised ‘I feel encouraged that [local] government is taking an interest in broadening young people’s horizons’.

The young people also shared their views on how the London Ventures solutions, once built, could be promoted to reach their target audience effectively. This includes promotion and engagement campaigns on targeted social media platforms.

This panel of young Londoners provided insights and challenges that has enabled us at London Ventures to shape our thinking around the key issues faced by young people. We have been able to further develop and refine solutions that will genuinely have a positive impact on the outcomes of young people across the capital.

Our second event was based on the concept of a ‘Dragons’ Den’, where our panel was made up of members and advisors to the Capital Ambition Board [https://www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/who-we-are/committees-and-networks/london-councils-capital-ambition-programme/governance/about], the London Ventures governance board,  supported by a representative from the Association of London Directors of Children’s Services [https://www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/node/26896]. The purpose of the den was to rapidly evaluate the 11 solutions previously shared with our young person’s panel and to decide which ones to take forward for development into outline business case.

After hearing a three-minute pitch, we asked our panellists to make a judgement on each solution based on whether they thought they would improve outcomes for Londoners, address local strategic challenges, and if the solutions were commercially viable.

Our panellists provided invaluable challenge, particularly around how these solutions would complement existing initiatives and services. Through animated and extensive discussion, we narrowed our list of solutions down to 6 that will move into the next stage of development.  

Although we rightfully received constructive and rigorous challenge in both session, it was great to hear so much positivity about the potential of the solutions and what they could mean for both local authorities and for Londoners. We are excited to further develop our 6 remaining solutions into outline business cases, with support from our many stakeholders including subject matter experts, and present them to the Capital Ambition Board in May.

If you would like to hear more about the solutions we are developing, and how they could help your borough, please do get in touch. We are looking for London ‘solutions champions’ to sponsor and support the piloting of these solutions so, if you would like to get involved or hear more about how our solutions can benefit your borough, please contact:

Thomas Man, Head of the Capital Ambition Team

[email protected]