Laverne Hunt, Team Secretary at Smith & Williamson, has been awarded Silver place in the ‘Inspirational Woman of the Year’ category in Citywealth’s Powerwomen Awards 2019.
Laverne founded Media Community Network in 2006, a charity which has raised £100,000. MCN helps organisations and individuals to work cohesively through various art disciplines, and each film and art project is used as an instrument for change in communities.
Her film work includes ‘Home Alone’, addressing child negligence, for which Laverne was awarded ‘Best Volunteer’ by Islington Voluntary Action; ‘Butt Out’, an anti-smoking film made with disabled children, shortlisted for The Guardian Small Charities Award that included a press conference at the House of Commons; and ‘Cool to be Kind’, which addresses bullying in primary schools. MCN has made a number of films addressing domestic violence and poverty.
Laverne was also a guest speaker at a ‘Women’s Roles towards Peaceful Cohesion’ conference welcoming the Vice-President of the Gambia to London in 2010. Following on from this she made ‘Going for Gold’ which was used at Middlesex University to combat radicalisation. Laverne more recently won ‘Best Volunteer Contribution to the Arts in Southwark’ for organising a 200-piece art exhibition addressing mental health, which reached 3,000 young people aged 5-25.
Laverne’s latest initiative is a project working with the embattled Angell Town housing estate in Brixton, which is aimed at raising spirits and community engagement following a spate of knife crime in the area. Her charity is working with fine artist Piehang Huang to empower women who have lost their children to knife crime using art in exhibition as a platform to visit juveniles in prison who have lost contact with their families. She is also working with the elderly on the estate who may feel more fearful and isolated than usual, as well as organising a running club for residents on the estate so that they can raise funds for emergencies once the project is over.
The Powerwomen Awards recognise individuals and companies who maximise the potential of women in wealth, highlighting the female leaders of today and tomorrow. The awards spotlight those who support caregiving responsibilities, female leadership and those who celebrate diversity.
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Notes to editors
Smith & Williamson is an independently owned financial and professional services group. The firm is a leading provider of investment management, financial advisory and accountancy services to private clients, professional practices, entrepreneurs and mid-to-large corporates. The group’s c1,700 people operate from a network of twelve offices: London, Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cheltenham, Dublin (City and Sandyford), Glasgow, Guildford, Jersey, Salisbury and Southampton.