ElevateMe shortlisted for two LGC Innovation Awards

By Roland Hanbury, Head of Public Sector Applications Solutions for Telefónica UK

It was announced yesterday that ElevateMe has been shortlisted for the 2015 Local Government Chronicle (LGC) Awards in two categories: Innovation and Innovative Service Delivery Model.

It’s scary to think that it’s nearly ten months since my last blog covering ElevateMe. In it I wrote about some of the key milestones in the ElevateMe journey:  from Reading Borough Council’s original application for the O2 Local Government Futures Fund (renamed the Local Government Digital Fund), to the launch of ElevateMe back in April 2014. ElevateMe is a free web app that helps young people not in education, employment or training (NEETs) along the path towards a successful career by bringing together relevant information and links to local and national agencies. Uniquely, it also uses gamification to motivate NEETs to engage with valuable career advice and take positive action as a result. We did this through the medium of a SimCity-style game in which each completed task builds another bit of their virtual city.

But the journey didn’t finish back in April. Following success in Reading there was an appetite to roll the app out across the region, and thanks to City Deal award funding it has been possible, with all districts in Berkshire now live (apart from Slough, which is due in a couple of weeks). Each virtual city is localised with its own landmarks including city centres, train stations and even football stadiums. The app also connects NEETs to local support service providers and unique content.  At the moment, the home page is being redesigned to drive young people to make an appointment with an advisor in the new physical services hub.  Elevate Business is also now in the design stage, which will inform and encourage businesses to get involved with offering internships, mentoring, and more.

The LGC award nominations are a cherry on top of what’s been a busy but fantastic year for all involved with ElevateMe. This is a great recognition for a project that I truly believe is a unique and innovative way of delivering a potentially life changing service to the young people of Berkshire. I look forward to the awards ceremony in March.