Superintendent Chris Byrne of Enfield’s Neighbourhood Policing and Rebecca Pritchard who oversees volunteering awarded certificates and thanks to the 26 Community Patrol Volunteers on behalf of the Metropolitan Police at a ceremony held at Scotland Yard on Monday 11th September 2023. The ceremony was also attended by business and community representatives including Enfield Southgate MP Bambos Charalambous, the Rt Rev Rob Wickham, former Bishop of Edmonton, Emma Loveland Headteacher of St Annes Catholic High School in Enfield and Susan Foss from the Enfield Charitable Trust, Tracey Taylor and Dee Forman from Blake & Horlock.
For the last four years, volunteers have been giving up their time to help keep local school children safe following a spate of robberies in the local area in 2019.
A local school reached out to Love Your Doorstep’s Founder and CEO, Emma Rigby, who quickly brought together a group of influential people and organisations to find solutions to the growing problem of attacks on young people. Love Your Doorstep set about recruiting volunteers through its Social Media platform and via schools and the first Community Patrol set out in Enfield Town in March 2019 with the support of the Metropolitan Police.
The project has become a recognisable presence in the local community which sees its volunteers in high-vis jackets out after school 5 days a week during term time. Their presence has seen results by helping to lower antisocial behaviour and youth crime by a massive 48% in the town centre.
The Patrol is a friendly, non-confrontational presence in the Town Centre and young people can come and stand with or talk to the volunteers if they are worried about anything.
*image by Tia Talula Media
Love Your Doorstep was founded in 2011 by Emma Rigby following the London Riots that started in Tottenham on Saturday 6th August 2011 and burst out in Enfield Town the following day. As a young mother and a non-native of Enfield, Emma, like many of her neighbours, felt isolated and vulnerable. There was a realisation that many in the community felt disconnected in their local area. Emma was an early adopter of social media and she decided to use the technology of the emerging Facebook platform to create a network to put local people in touch with each other and their local services.
Love Your Doorstep Community CIC was established in 2019 to promote and create projects that support the community where current support is inadequate or absent. The Love Your Doorstep Community Patrol was the first project of the Love Your Doorstep Community CIC.
In March 2020 the Love Your Doorstep Community CIC galvanised its volunteers and community and business partners to create the first community response in Enfield to support vulnerable people in the emerging Covid-19 pandemic. As the pandemic took hold the Community CIC bought together a network of charities, businesses, and community groups to provide mutual support and create a series of food hubs across Enfield. That network is self-supporting and is still in operation today.
In January 2022 Emma Rigby was awarded a BEM (British Empire Medal) in the New Years Honours list recognising her service to the community during the Covid-19 pandemic.
An exciting new platform for young people is due to launch on 3rd November at a UK Careers Event being hosted at Tottenham Hotspurs.
With young people across the U.K struggling to identify or acquire the skills needed for today’s job market, which in turn is contributing to a national skills gap and exacerbating youth unemployment, the new “What To Do Now” platform is looking to equip students’ parents and guardians of young people, with valuable knowledge all in one place.
The platform will house – Jobs, volunteering, work experience, education, training & co -curricular opportunities, as well as events and a knowledge base to help unstitch the complicated world of education and pathways to employment. The project will introduce mentors to help young people and their parents and guardians navigate through the choices they need to make and support them through the ups and downs of searching for new opportunities.
Many young people along with their parents and guardians do not have the experience or networks to guide and support them through the choices they need to make to find their path from school to further education and to the world of work.
There are also too many young people with absolutely no support and find themselves increasingly excluded from opportunities. The core aim of What to Do Now is to work with employers, educators and community organisations to change hearts and minds to find new ways to offer support and to look deeper at the talent that is too often missed in traditional recruitment.
The platform has been created by Love your Doorstep Community CIC and is led by Emma Rigby - the award-winning Love Your Doorstep Founder and Paul Everitt - The Head of Community Infrastructure, Art and Culture for Love Your Doorstep Community CIC.
Emma said “Young people aged 15-24 years old who are unable to identify which skills they need for future employment opportunities will hopefully find just what they need on “What To Do Now. We have been building the concept for over 12 months and in doing so have identified just how much this is needed.
The team will be working across the board with different partners, bringing together charities, community organisations, training providers and businesses to work together for the future of our young people.
How I will continue to support the community
The former head of arts and culture at Enfield Council on what he loves about the borough and how he will continue to support local people in his new role
After growing up as a very camp young gay man in a small working-class Midlands town, I know what it is like to be ostracised and bullied.
I learned quickly that to survive in such an unfriendly environment, it is vital not to allow yourself to live in fear, to know who you are, to stand up for yourself and to be proud. Those life lessons gained as a child stood me in good stead to survive the past three-and-a-half years working within the toxic culture currently pervasive in the organisation I have just departed.
Since 2018 a culture of bullying and intimidation took hold at the civic centre, designed to paralyse through fear. The previous ten years had been different, however. Though under the constant struggle and strain of cost pressures and budget cuts, there was an instinct and energy from elected members and officers to engage with the community, to design and deliver an infrastructure that was wanted and needed, and to keep engaged to ensure things kept improving for the whole community. Unity, not division, was the prize.
What Enfield has in spades is good and dedicated people. I have met them in every corner of the community over the past 13 years. They have challenged me when their community has been overlooked and they have supported me when I have tried to do something about it. I remember well Janet Kay giving me a right telling off that she was performing concerts in Tokyo but not at her own local theatre; Saray Karakus explaining that her Edmonton theatre troupe was having to travel all the way to Dalston for rehearsals; Nina Lewis pleading that many talented young people simply don’t have the funds to pay fees; Debbie Dean enraged that good local artists were being overlooked – all good people challenging us to do better and to be better.
Arts and culture is an essential experience for us all and the sad truth is that it is so often only available for people who can pay for it. The balance of those employed in the arts has shifted even further towards those that can afford it, and the sector does not reflect our community. We worked hard to reverse that in Enfield, and I was so proud to have led a diverse team that was able to crack through that glass ceiling.
As I learned as a child, we mustn’t lie down when we’ve been given a bloody nose. We must stand up and find another way. So I am thrilled to have been offered the opportunity to find that other way with Love Your Doorstep, an organisation that has supported the community in so many ways over the past ten years. I am looking forward to continuing to work with the good people of Enfield to ensure that voices are heard, and resources are developed in every part of the community.
Enfield Council has denied the claims made by Paul Everitt – read its response here
Council’s former culture boss lands new role in Enfield
Paul Everitt is joining Love Your Doorstep after being made redundant from civic centre – where he says there is a ‘toxic culture’, reports James Cracknell - Enfield Dispatch
The former head of arts and culture at Enfield Council has been hired by a local community interest company – following his acrimonious departure from the civic centre.
Paul Everitt, who was recently made redundant from the council after 13 years of service, is now starting a new role as director of culture and community infrastructure with Love Your Doorstep CIC. Paul was widely admired for his work in Enfield supporting community groups and promoting arts and culture across the borough and says he will now be building on that legacy in his new job.
He told the Dispatch: “Love Your Doorstep’s focus is on supporting the community – bringing the community together with the resources that they have and building relationships with local people. It excites me to join an organisation which has got the community at its heart.”
Emma Rigby, founder and director of Love Your Doorstep, launched a petition in support of Paul when the news broke earlier this year that his job was at risk. She said: “We are beyond excited to have Paul join our team with his skills, expertise and passion for Enfield.
“He carries the same values and ethos as Love Your Doorstep around collaborative and partnership working for the good of our community.”
Paul’s redundancy from the council was made as part of an internal restructure, with his job role made obsolete. He was placed on gardening leave in the summer prior to his official redundancy in October. The civic centre restructure included a shake-up of council arts venues and the way they are managed, which Paul had opposed and voiced concerns about.
Talking about some of the issues he dealt with at the council prior to his departure, Paul described a “toxic culture” of “bullying and intimidation” and said: “When you are working in that toxic culture you are in a state of fear, you don’t trust every part of the organisation and it closes in around you. There is nowhere to go. A survival instinct kicks in.”
Paul said that although other roles were being made available within the council it became clear “they wanted me out of the organisation” and that being put on gardening leave “meant there was no proper transfer” to the council’s new culture team. He added: “My whole career is about culture, so being in charge of street cleaning didn’t really appeal to me.”
Paul’s work at the council included the development of the Dugdale Centre in Enfield Town as a core part of the borough’s arts scene and as a place to support emerging artists from diverse and under-represented groups.
Emma – who recently won a national award for her work supporting Enfield during the pandemic – said she and many others were “determined to not lose Paul” after his departure from the council. His new role at Love Your Doorstep will involve leading on projects that “support and develop local community infrastructure” and “engage in partnerships with people and organisations in line with our common cause”. He will work across arts and culture as well as health and wellbeing and climate change.
In response to the allegations made by Paul following his redundancy, a council spokesperson said: “There is not a toxic atmosphere of bullying at Enfield Council. This is a baseless and slanderous allegation and a slur on all at Enfield Council.
“Paul Everitt never raised a grievance or complaint about such behaviour when he worked at the council. If he had, it would have been thoroughly and rigorously investigated and dealt with. The truth is, a review of the efficiency of the service including whether council taxpayers were getting value for money, led to the deletion of the post of arts and culture manager. Paul Everitt received a generous redundancy package.
“These are very tough financial times for Enfield Council – the government has cut more than 50% of our funding over the past ten years. There have been other redundancies in the past among staff as a result of those cuts as we have redesigned services to stay within our budget and keep council tax as low as possible.
“We take the culture of our workforce very seriously. We encourage people to speak with us directly if they have any concerns, and they will be dealt with in line with our procedures and our duty-of-care responsibilities.”
For more information about Love Your Doorstep:
LOCAL ENTREPENEUR CROWNED NATIONAL WINNER OF O2 EVERYDAY HEROES AWARDS 2021 BY O2 AND KELLY HOPPEN
● This year’s Everyday Heroes awards has seen two national winners take the crown, including Emma Rigby from Love Your Doorstep who set up a delivery service to help members of the community access food and medication during lockdown ● Alongside a public vote, Kelly Hoppen and a panel of experts chose Emma as this year’s joint national winner● O2 rewarded Emma with £5,000 cash prize to help support her business.
Wednesday 6th October 2021 – O2, in partnership with internationally renowned interior designer and entrepreneur, Kelly Hoppen CBE, has crowned Love Your Doorstep the joint national winner of its Everyday Heroes competition, rewarding founder Emma Rigby for her contributionto the local community during lockdown.
The initiative, which sought to help businesses during this difficult time, saw hundreds of members of the public nominate deserving small businesses and enterprises who’d gone the extra mile.
Emma, alongside fellow national winner Yasin El Ashrafi from HQ CAN who supports young musicians and creatives in the Midlands, receives£5,000 cash. Emma came out on top after a panel of judges and the public read about her tenacity and the wonderful work she has done to help support the Enfield community.
Emma used her extensive local network of volunteers, neighbours, charities and businesses built over the last 10 years to manage and organise an immense operation which saw them deliver thousands of food packages & meals, transported medications and recruited over 600 volunteers in the region to ensure everyone in the Enfield Borough had access to support they needed.
Kelly Hoppen CBE, interior design entrepreneur and former Dragon said: “It’s been a real joy hearing the stories of these amazing business leaders who are so committed to supporting the community around them. The fact there are two joint winners shows just how difficult judging the superb finalists’ entries was! Emma couldn’t be more worthy of the honour.
“Her tenacity, drive and passion is clear. She was determined in her mission to keep the community supplied with food and medication, and what was especially great to hear was the sheer volume of volunteers who came forward at such speed.”
Emma notes that the money will really help them continue to support the local businesses and individuals who get so much out of the service: “It’s been a real team effort to keep things going over the past 18 months and it’s reaffirmed the sense of community and connection we’ve all needed to lean on at some point. I’m delighted to have received this recognition.”
Jo Bertram, Managing Director, Business & Wholesale at Virgin Media O2 and judge said:“Hearing from all of the small businesses and learning about the sheer level of support and joy they brought their communities over the last year has been truly inspiring.
“Small business leaders really are the backbone of local communities around the country so to hear of their determination and motivation to keep serving their local customers is heart-warming. Emma and Yasin are examples of individuals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty, utilising technology in order to ensure they’re offering the best level of support. They show how a sense of community really has been a lifeline for many of us.
“O2 has always helped provide small businesses with the technology and digital expertise to help them flex and adapt, improve connectivity and strengthen security, and this is more important than ever as we continue to adjust to life through the continued pandemic. We’re incredibly excited to crown the overall winners and give them a helping hand to continue doing their great work.”
The tools available through O2 Business can help firms continue to adapt and grow their business as the UK continues to head out of lockdown. As flexibility continues to be more important than ever, customers can choose the ultimate flexible package with tariffs that give them the control and confidence to suit their evolving company needs.
The market-leading suite of flexible solutions includes automatic data rollover and flexible tariffs so customers can flex their data allowance up and down each billing cycle. As well as flexible add-on business apps such as Microsoft Office 365 so customers can stay productive no matter where they need to work, plus a range of business contract lengths, from a rolling 30-day plan, through to three years.
O2 Business packages also offer greater network security, with experts on hand to help with any technical issues.
To find out more about the national winners’ stories, visit https://www.o2.co.uk/business/everyday-heroes
To learn more about O2 Business, visit ttps://www.o2.co.uk/business/why-o2/flex-your-business
EMMA RIGBY FROM ENFIELD CROWNED REGIONAL WINNER OF O2 EVERYDAY BUSINESS HEROES AWARDS 2021
● Enfield-based business is calling for support as it reaches final to be crowned national winner of O2 Everyday Business Hero Awards● Emma Rigby, founder of Love Your Doorstep, is one of five regional winners to be in with a chance to receive a £5,000 cash prize● After rallying a team of over 600 volunteers who have delivered over 60,000 meals to those in need, Emma’s commitment to supporting her community over the past 18 months makes her a worthy winner● Voting is now open over at @o2businessuk[insert link to Tweet] on Twitter until the 19thSeptember for the public to vote Emma as their winner
10, September 2021 – Love Your Doorstep, based in Enfield, is calling for support as it reaches the final stages to be crowned the national winner of O2’s Everyday Business Hero Awards.
Founder, Emma Rigby, has been crowned one of the regional winners of this year’s awards – celebrating the independent and small businesses, and the individuals behind them, who have gone above and beyond to support their communities or have remained resilient and resourceful in the face of adversity.
Emma was nominated by members of the public who wished to acknowledge her incredible efforts in connecting Enfield residents, charities and businesses to the services they needed most throughout the pandemic.
Love Your Doorstep was set up after the London riots in 2010 after Emma wanted to create something that helped bring the local community together at a time where they needed it most. Since then, the online platform has grown to over 30,000 members who have been able to be connected to over 750 businesses, community groups and charities in the borough. In the last 18 months in particular, 600 volunteers helped deliver food parcels, meals, medication and refurbed laptops to those in need. With so many people to help organise and resources to manage, Emma relied on technology to help her keep all these moving parts connected and ultimately ensure everyone got the help they need.
When asked what being named a regional winner meant to her, Emma said: “It is such an honour to be named a regional winner of the competition! I just knew as soon as the pandemic hit that we had the links and platform that could really help support our community.
“It’s been a real team effort to keep things going over the past 18 months and it’s reaffirmed the sense of community and connection we’ve all needed to lean on at some point. I’m delighted to have received this recognition and even be nominated in the first place! To win the national competition would mean so much and the money would help us continue to support the local businesses and individuals who still get so much out of our service.”
Working closely with charity partners such as The Felix Project and Cooking Champions, the Love Your Doorstep team has delivered over 60,000 meals to those in need. Many of the volunteers who helped bring the operation to life have now committed to supporting local charities moving forwards, a legacy no doubt inspired by Emma and her team. The £5,000 prize for the national winner will help Emma continue to provide her service to her local community and help them continue to connect those in need.
Emma is one of five regional winners battling it out to be crowned this year’s Everyday Hero who will receive the £5000 cash prize. Public votes will account for 50 per cent of the final outcome, while the other 50 per cent will be determined by the O2 panel who will be joined by a celebrity guest, Kelly Hoppen.
Members of the public have until Sunday 19th September to head to @o2businessuk on Twitter to like and retweet to vote for their winner.
Jo Bertram, Managing Director, Business & Wholesale at Virgin Media O2 said: “Emma is an incredible representation of the huge effort that people have made across the UK in bringing communities together during the pandemic as she helped ensure that no one in the Enfield borough felt unsupported at a time where it felt so easy to feel alone. Her incredible tenacity, determination and desire to help is truly admirable and the local community is lucky to have her. If you’re inspired by Emma’s work, make sure you vote for her to be in with a chance of being crowned O2’s national Everyday Hero.”
Our stories: Emma Rigby
WRITTEN BY JEN HACKER.
In a megacity like London, it can be hard to find a sense of local community but Emma Rigby has brought her quintessentially kiwi approach to community building to the UK. She has spent the last 10 years building a multi-faceted, award-winning social enterprise for her borough in North London.
“I’ve always been invested in my community, right from a young age in NZ,” she says. “It very much is about my kiwi upbringing. Communities working together - passing a cup of sugar over the garden fence. So I think I brought a little bit of NZ to the community that I live in now in London.”
Emma is the creator of the unique social enterprise, Love Your Doorstep. The organisation began after a frightening experience close to home reminded Emma of the importance of finding community, wherever you are.
“Love Your Doorstep (LYD) came off the back of the London riots because the night that they happened I didn’t even know who my neighbours were. I thought 'This is crazy! I’m bringing my children up here and I wouldn’t even know where to turn if I needed help or where I would find things going on on my doorstep', so that’s where the name LYD came from.”
Since its inception in 2011, LYD has amassed nearly 30,000 members from Enfield and the surrounding areas. It began as a group of locals gathering together then added a business directory and really took off from there.
“It’s all about keeping money local and helping businesses, but it’s not just a directory listing,” she says. “We support over 750 local businesses in Enfield across about 80 categories, so anything from a cake maker to a butcher to having your car serviced, right down to artists and musicians and entertainers. It’s pretty incredible.”
When lockdown started in March last year, Emma coordinated a rapid community response to help those needing food and supplies. “Within a matter of 24 hours, I’d pulled together over 70 local charities into a Whatsapp group and we had mobilised within 4 days with over 600 volunteers,” she says. ”It was always in my mind that if there was ever a disaster of any kind, that the community would turn to LYD. It was absolutely incredible to watch and it’s still going.”
Despite the impressive number of volunteers, supply was an issue. “The biggest thing on my agenda was to make sure that our local food bank and another organisation had food being donated, and the community support was incredibly at helping us to achieve this. Keeping food replenished meant we could take food out and get it to those in need.”
Emma credits the group’s timely response to the community that she’s spent the last nine years cultivating. “I could already plug into a community of people who trusted us to ask for help and that’s what’s incredible about what’s been created.”
The mother of two also mobilised the group in 2019 when a spate of muggings happened to local students. “I was invited into one of the local schools and we set up a hugely successful community patrol initiative where I’m working with the Metropolitan Police, as far up as Scotland Yard on that.”
Once again Emma tapped into the community and they responded in force, with 150 people volunteering. The neighbourhood patrolled the High St five days a week, keeping students safe as they walked to and from school and during lunchtimes. “We’ve seen a reduction in those types of crime by over 55% and during the times that we’re patrolling, we’re hardly seeing any muggings at all now,” she says. “It’s just fabulous to be involved in something like that and until lockdown closed the schools I was still out patrolling two days a week. I love getting back out there.”
Emma and LYD have received a slew of awards for their contribution to community building, most recently winning The Stroeous Awards Global Positive Impact Brand of the Year 2021. In 2014, she was invited to address the UK House of Commons and explain the LYD concept that she created. “It was so amazing. We took down 80 local people and they put on a special event for us where we showcased LYD to the ministers and our community could celebrate what we’d achieved,” she says. “I felt so humbled and honoured to be invited there to do that. It makes you think 'This is really worth it. It’s going to help so many people.'”
In 2019, she became the first New Zealander to receive a British Citizens Award. “That was an absolute honour because even though we’ve won lots of business awards over the years, that particular award recognised me for the work that I’d done in the community,” she says. “To be the first Kiwi as well, I was pretty blown away by that.”
Off the back of this success, Emma has dreams of bringing the concept to communities everywhere. “It was always my ambition to roll LYD out nationwide,” she says. “I’m in discussions at the moment with people about some ideas that they have so it would just be incredible to see it nationwide and helping more communities.”
Having undertaken such a mammoth task, Emma knows all too well how difficult it is to get such a project off the ground but she has some sage advice for those with big ideas. “You’ve gotta just go for it,” she says. “Lots of people are going to try and tell you it’s not going to work but if you’re really passionate about something, you’ve just gotta go for it.”
Headline: Emma Rigby from Love Your Doorstep appears in Leaders Council podcast alongside Lord Blunkett.
The Leaders Council of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is currently in the process of talking to leadership figures from across the nation in an attempt to understand this universal trait and what it means in Britain and Northern Ireland today.
Emma Rigby from Love Your Doorstep was invited onto an episode of the podcast, which also included an interview with Lord Blunkett. Host Scott Challinor asked both guests a series of questions about leadership and the role it has played in their careers to date.
Scott Challinor commented, ‘Hosting a show like this, where you speak to genuine leaders who have been there and done it, either on a national stage or within a crucial industry sector, is an absolute honour.’
Lord Blunkett, chairman of The Leaders Council of Great Britain and Northern Ireland said, ‘I think the most informative element of each episode is the first part, where Scott Challinor is able to sit down with someone who really gets how their industry works and knows how to make their organisation tick. Someone who’s there day in day out working hard and inspiring others. That’s what leadership is all about.’
You can listen to the podcast in full here: Leaders Council Interview - Emma Rigby
You can also discover more about Emma Rigby here:
Local business website brings greater community cohesion plus more trade
Created in response to the London riots, Love Your Doorstep is helping localism, community spirit and entrepreneurs thrive
"Can my dog eat this?" That simple question, posted in an online forum, kickstarted a process that would eventually result in Roz Lishak developing a line in diabetic dog biscuits. "I've become the canine cookie queen of the area," enthuses the 53-year old cake-maker from Enfield, north London
Almost a year on and her Character Canine Cookies venture is flying. Sales of her Barkwell Tarts, Pup cakes and other sugar-free doggy treats now make up 80% of her total business. What's more, most of her trade comes from local dog-owners.
Lishak's new venture is one of more than 600 local businesses listed on the online, community-based directory service, Love Your DoorStep. The brainchild of fellow Enfield resident Emma Rigby, it contains everything from florists and plumbers to cleaning services and bouncy castle rentals.
Rigby's initial idea arose from a desire to replicate the community culture of her native New Zealand, "where neighbours would pass a cup of sugar over the garden fence". The London riots in 2011, which saw masked men running past her front door, proved the catalyst to act.
She launched a Facebook page that then morphed into a dedicated website with a host of social media feeds. More than 7,000 Enfield residents use the site, whether to post details of a community event or to search out local service providers.
Rikki Parker, a bespoke gift-maker, has seen her home business, By Rikki, nearly double in size since listing on the site 18 months ago. "I wouldn't have had the money to go out and market myself," says Parker, a 31-year-old mother of two. As with all the other registered businesses, Parker has a dedicated page on the site where she can profile her wares.
LYDS, as residents often abbreviate Love Your DoorStep, differs from other online directories in being ultra local and interactive. Rigby has a team of eight working behind the scenes. They know all the registered businesses and can point web-users directly to relevant providers. Fellow residents can make their own recommendations, too.
"What we're doing is putting local people in touch with local products in real time, which puts money back into the local economy," explains Rigby. "If people ask questions on our platform we have answers for them … whereas large organisations don't have that localised team."
Anyone who has used a service from the directory can leave a review as well. This helps keep service providers on their toes: three bad reviews and a business is struck off. The review function also serves to create a sense of community around the site. "People feel like they are coming to me personally as a business," says Parker, whose business generates the most traffic on the site – and who genuinely does hand over most of her orders at her front door.
Large businesses are now tapping into the LYDS network, too. International relocation business, Crown Worldwide, which has around 65 people in its Enfield office, posts job opportunities through the site. It also plans to use the online platform to connect employees to volunteer opportunities in the area.
"In addition, the local businesses come in and sell services to our staff," says Eileen Girling, Crown's human resources director. A resident of Enfield herself, Girling and her family use the site in a personal capacity, too. For example, her sister refurbished her new flat in Enfield exclusively through providers recommended via the site.
Rigby's vision for building greater social cohesion, as well as local economic vitality, remains central. As in its early Facebook days, LYDS continues to carry information about local events and community services. It also periodically runs networking events where users can meet face to face.
"It's great to be able to put a face to a name. There are several LYDS people I meet now as friends," says Parker, who has also set up a partnership with a photographer she met onsite. Meanwhile Lishak of Character Canine Cookies has helped return many lost dogs after owners began sending her photos of their missing pets for her webpage. A similar dynamic is playing out with the local police, who have used the network to track down a number of petty criminals.
Rigby has now launched community-style platforms in nearby Potters Bar and Barnet, as well as in the Essex town of Braintree. The model is replicable almost anywhere, she insists: "Communities need to become self-sufficient, and they need that community spirit to thrive."
Full article here:
Add the name Emma Rigby to Rotorua New Zealand's already impressive list of international high achievers.
There can be few more quantum of leaps than from winning the Miss Thermaland 1995-96 title to addressing the House of Commons, but Emma Rigby's taken it in her stride.
It's her hometown background and the personality quest the now Mrs Rigby (nee Nicholson) acknowledges for giving her the confidence and poise to speak to such a potentially terrifying audience of Cabinet ministers and pan-party MPs.
The invitation to talk to them was sparked by the innovative Love Your Doorstep (LYD) programme she founded in the UK in the aftermath of London's 2011 riots.
Enfield borough, where Emma, her husband and children live, was one of the hardest hit by rampaging mobs.
"Masked men were running past our front door, bricks were being thrown, a wall around the corner was smashed down, we barricaded our front door, to say it was incredibly scary's a total understatement."
Never one to sit on her hands, Emma put a taper to her innovative Kiwi spirit and struck back - not by fighting force with force but by founding Love Your Doorstep, a "getting to know your neighbour" concept that's already bagged her an impressive number of business awards, national media coverage and that House of Commons speaking engagement.
Home in Rotorua for the first time in four years and sharing her success story with Our People, Emma admits she's astonished by the speed with which the organisation's mushroomed. From its original "good neighbour" concept it's become an online hit, not only connecting people with people but with businesses and organisations within their communities.
As it has grown she's moved from operating at her kitchen table to premises in Enfield Town, has formed LYD into a limited company, become its managing director/CEO, employs 10 and works closely with local councils and chambers of commerce.
"When we started we found out people not only wanted to get to know one another, they wanted to be connected to everything from a hairdressers to where they can get their car's MOT [the UK equivalent of a Warrant of Fitness]."
LYDS popularity grew across greater London's post codes.
The LYDS name has now been trademarked in the UK and New Zealand and other countries have it on their radar.
Emma's not the only product of Rotorua to have LYD input. Childhood friend and cutting edge graphic artist Sarah Delaney designed its eye-catching logo. Who dares say Rotorua's not a breeding ground for across-the-board talent?
As the daughter of one of the city's major tourism operators, Neville Nicholson of Skyline Skyrides, and his wife, Alison, Emma reflects it's what's made her so community conscious.
"That environment taught me how to form strong relationships, connect with those of all ages and nationalities."
She admits at school she wasn't as hot on scaling the same academic heights as her brother, Simon, who became a Fulbright scholar studying in Washington DC, where he remains lecturing at the university his scholarship took him to.
"At Heights [Western Heights High School], I wasn't as committed to studying as I could have been, I was more interested in being creative, often hiding out in the ceramic room."
Creativity apart, she had personality on her side, the attribute that won her the Miss Thermaland title and the role of the city's ambassador for civic functions hosted by then mayor Grahame Hall.
It's this people-meeting-people experience that's given her the innovative edge over traditionally reticent Londoners.
From Heights, she moved to Tauranga's Performing Arts School. Eighteen months on, she and school friend Andrea Derecourt took a Contiki tour of Europe, "18 countries in 45 days".
Once home, she joined Telecom's relatively new mobile department in Wellington - "exciting times technology-wise".
By the time she left the company for her second round of OE in 2003, she was in charge of the Auckland office's key mobile accounts.
From account manager at BT (British Telecom), she moved to City and Guilds, one of the UK's oldest organisations running vocational courses. "They gave me this really amazing job as business development manager in their publishing arm."
Emma hadn't been in London long when she met husband-to-be Carl Rigby - in a pub. He's a recruiter for the international bank HSBC.
"He asked me for a date, we got married soon after."
Theirs wasn't your usual "run of the mill" wedding. They eloped - to Barbados.
"It just about killed my mother and father but we were having a lot of hassles with UK immigration ... we appeased my parents by coming home for a blessing."
It comes as no surprise the venue was Skyline and, wearing his celebrant's hat, Grahame Hall officiated.
Son Jackson was born in 2007, Meghan followed in 2010.
Their mum fits her working life around them and couldn't wait to bring them to Rotorua at the height of the summer while Britain wallowed in winter.
They adored it.
"I hadn't realised until I got back how home homesick I was, how proud I am to be a New Zealander. It's such a laid-back way of living here. Jackson's been trout fishing, they've both done things I took for granted as a child. There's a real edginess here and that's really cool."
Does this mean she's ready to quit London and what she admits is the rat race her burgeoning business has enmeshed her in?
"It's possible we'll return one day and bring Love your Doorstep here, but I've still got a lot more to achieve right across the UK."
EMMA RIGBY (NEE NICHOLSON)
Born: Rotorua, 1977,
Education: Selwyn Primary, Kaitao Intermediate, Western Heights High,
Family: Parents Neville and Alison Nicholson, brother Simon (Washington DC), sister Sarah Moorecroft (Tauranga), husband Carl, son Jackson, daughter Meghan.
Interests: Family, business, theatre, reading "business, inspirational and motivational books", exercise, yoga, travel.
On Rotorua upbringing: "There's no better place to grow up, here you are encouraged to develop as an individual."
Personal Philosophy: "Work hard - follow your dreams."ACHIEVER: Emma Rigby with her children Jackson and Meghan, back home in Rotorua.