New charity to turn Islington youths from gangs to business

Lizie Izzet and Rachael Box. Rachel and her friend, Lizie are setting up a charity to help get young

Lizie Izzet and Rachael Box. Rachel and her friend, Lizie are setting up a charity to help get young people into work. - Credit: Vickie Flores

Two friends have set their sights on getting youngsters out of gangs and into work by harnessing the knowledge of professionals in Islington.

Rachael Box and Lizie Izzet have set up charity London Village Network to give young, unemployed people in Islington a chance to broaden their horizons.

The pair, who live in Holloway, want skilled workers to donate a few hours of their time rather than money – to help expose the next generation to new opportunities and directions their lives could take.

But their campaign has taken on new significance following the tragic deaths of three local teenagers in the last six months.

Ms Box, 39, said: “We went to the crime summit on Saturday and there was talk about getting young people to experience more feelings. But they don’t just need to experience feelings, they need to experience life.

“If we want to stop knife crime we need to open them up to opportunities and inspire them.

“There are lots of people in the corporate world who really care but just don’t have a platform to help.

Most Read

“By providing that all we’re asking is for you to dedicate a few hours of your time to share what you do and your experiences.

“It takes a village to raise a child. What we really need is your time, not your money.”

The charity will be holding its first event for young people from Tuesday to Thursday next week, where professionals, including lawyers, will be helping 16 to 24-year-olds develop a business idea.

Be Your Own Boss, which will take place at the Underground Youth Centre, Ring Cross Estate, Holloway, from 11am to 3pm each day, will aim to give young people involved the key skills to develop ideas into a plausible product.

“We’ve spoken to young people in the area about their ideas,” said Ms Box, who lives in Morgan Road. “Everyone seems to have a business idea and you can see the light switch on inside of them when they talk about it.

“We’re still looking for more young people to take part and professionals to help.”

The charity has already sealed the backing of local MP Emily Thornberry as well as Penguin Books which will help them set up a magazine.

To find out more about the event and taking part email

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter