Pre-secondment role: Senior Store Manager, Sainsbury’s (Kay has worked for Sainsbury’s for 17 years and was responsible for 250 members of staff).
Seconded in: Tottenham
The biggest success so far in my role as a Business Connector has been being able to connect people in the community, to break down barriers and be the go-to person that people call on who can help, or knows someone who can help.
Kay Horne Business Connector role overview
Kay was placed in Tottenham in the weeks after the riots of August 2011.
Tottenham is one of the most diverse communities in Europe. 200 languages are spoken on Tottenham High Road. It also has one of the highest unemployment rates in London. Benefit claimants are significantly above the National average (some wards have more than 70% social housing). Tottenham sits in Haringey, the 4th most deprived borough in London and the 13th most deprived in the country. It has historically suffered from a poor reputation in the wake of the Broadwater Farm Riot 1985 and the child protection scandals of the Victoria Climbié Inquiry and the Baby P investigation.
Kay immediately identified a need to support local businesses affected by the civil unrest to access the High Street Fund and spent much of her first weeks on the ground engaging with business owners – resulting in 60 businesses accessing the fund that would otherwise not have known about it. More recently, Kay has been providing support and connections to help traders with difficulties surrounding their insurance and Riot Damages Act claims. This activity gave Kay access to an invaluable network of businesses who she has since worked with to develop projects in Tottenham that address one of the root cause of social unrest - low attainment and aspiration amongst young people. To date she has secured over £21,000 sponsorship from business to support a Tottenham Boxing Academy which supports young people at risk of exclusion from mainstream education, and formed a coalition of local community groups creating long term benefit to the community by supporting both young people and business in Tottenham.
Case study – The Boxing Academy
The Boxing Academy is a charity which provides an alternative provision for young people who have been or at risk of exclusion from mainstream education. There are 20 students at the Tottenham site schooled in classes of 6, called pods, each having their own pod leader who is a Boxing Professional, and who acts as their mentor. They have a 90% success rate in Maths and English GCSE and also teach citizenship and IT.
Kay has secured a business mentor for the Academy’s Chief Executive and facilitated the relationship with a number of businesses to support them with over £21k sponsorship, including Sainsbury's who are sponsoring their lunches for the next year to the value of £8k. They are providing a healthy eating programme for the Academy (as well as holding some wider events in the area to engage with young parents). Fujitsu have donated £10k of computer equipment. In addition, Duncan Tait, CEO Fujitsu UK & Ireland, has personally provided career coaching to some of the young people in exchange for boxing lessons. The Store Manager of Tottenham Sainsbury’s is also supporting the head of the Academy in helping to write a business plan.
- Helped 60 businesses to sign up to the High Street Fund
- Secured £21k sponsorship for the boxing academy including:
- £10,000 of IT equipment from Fujitsu
- £2,000 office equipment from Marsh
- Secured mentoring support from Sainsbury’s to help the boxing academy produce a business plan and probono legal support from Pinsent Masons.
- Staples supporting the Dandelion project with free flyer distribution
- Hosted careers events
- Supported Enterprise Summer Schools
- Hosted community meetings
- Procured equipment and skills support for key local Tottenham charities.
“Events last year showed how people pull together in times of crisis. Our Business Connectors aim to keep that sense of community alive. The results so far are impressive, linking what businesses can offer with what communities need. Kay Horne, previously one of our store managers, epitomises this. She’s personally helped distribute over £600k from the High Street Fund to small businesses in Tottenham affected by the riots.” Gwyn Burr, Sainsbury’s Customer Service and Colleague Director
“I have been totally inspired by the Tottenham Community and their resilience after adversity. It is a place that has a number of problems, but a sense of community spirit that is amazing. The riots of last summer in some way enabled the community to come together and support each other and I have been able to continue this work by connecting people. I often say I was born to do this job, it has given me wings and allowed me to fly and I love it. I also often quote "I Love Tottenham" a slogan that has adorned every lamp post on the High Road since last summer. I have been made to feel so welcome in a place that has been so mistrustful and unloved for so long. The future of Tottenham is by no means fixed but I believe it is bright.” Kay Horne