Lampton Community Services is a community-focused organisation that provides a range of public services across the London Borough of Hounslow, including the management of parks and all green spaces. Their park ranger service aims to become the ears and eyes of the local parks, and tackle a range of issues, specifically those related to anti-social behaviour. This can include waste management, needle collection or litter picking.
Parks are the centre of many communities providing many opportunities to create social value, and Lampton picked up the mantle with aplomb. They started by looking at their hiring policy. Focusing on local employment, they set about hiring park rangers from within their own community. Joshua Samuel, Operations Manager at Lampton says:
Hiring local has paid dividends. Not only can we see the social value we’ve created, but as our park rangers live side-by-side with visitors to our spaces, you can really feel the value of the work they’re doing day in, day out.” Joshua Samuel, Operations Manager
Lampton’s work promoting training and jobs has created £8,000 of social value so far, already eight times their target.
This social value has real, tangible benefits to their community. Their focus on local hiring has not only created value for the community, but it has helped build a motivated and proud workforce.
Lampton aims to hire from within the boundaries of the local authority and prioritise hiring people who would otherwise be unemployed through their Lampton Academy. As one park ranger described:
“When you’re claiming benefits it’s difficult to make ends meet, and sometimes it doesn’t feel like you are part of a community. Lampton has given me a job and a reliable income, and also allowed to me make a difference in my borough and feel valued by my community”
Lampton works with partners to offer pre-employment training and work experience to those looking to get into work. So far, they’ve delivered six weeks of work experience, creating over £1,000 social and local economic value. Every training graduate is guaranteed an interview, and if they’re unsuccessful, they’ll be provided with feedback and ultimately, given something to build their career on.
Another park ranger recounted, “I used to work as a security guard for a building firm. It was a case of working 12-hour shifts sat in a box at the front of the site, monitoring who came in and out of the property. Now my job lets me engage with people in my community, and build a better place for them to be.”
Looking to the future
Lampton Services is a new organisation, wholly owned by the London Borough of Hounslow, and is moving quickly to develop new services and create more opportunity for its local communities. In Joshua’s words:
“We started our service in March 2022 and are still a young company. There’s so much more we want to do, and we can’t wait to build on the value we’ve already created.”
The park has plenty of projects to create social value, and the London Borough of Hounslow Council has ambitions to expand on these, including volunteering in schools and charity away days.