Hackney young people celebrated at V&A event
The achievements of 17 young people from Hackney were celebrated at an event in the prestigious Sackler Centre at the Victoria and Albert Museum in South West London last month.
Hackney Council’s Hackney One Team, formerly Hackney Recruitment Partnership teamed up with the V&A in 2004 to offer young people with learning disabilities the opportunity to do work experience and develop skills to allow them to do further education and gain paid employment.
Speaking at the event Hackney Council Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Culture Jonathan McShane praised the scheme and congratulated the young people involved.
Cllr McShane said: “One of the things we’re passionate about is helping young people with disabilities live as independently as possible. It requires real commitment from everyone involved in programmes like this and, most importantly, from the young people themselves, who have conducted themselves extremely well and proved how much potential they have.”
Some of the young interns also spoke at the event about the impact working at the V&A had on them. Ibrahim Albayati aged 18 said: “I was helping in the shop at the V&A museum of childhood. Now I’d like to work in the Science museum.”
Lindy Radebe told how working at the V&A lead to a permanent job. Lindy said: “I used to work in the shop, in customer service and I always greeting visitors with a good morning. Now I work at Towpath café in Shoreditch. I take orders and deliver food to the customers. I do enjoy it but now we’re closed for winter we’re busy making jams to sell.”
Many of the young people who have volunteered in the V&A over the past eight years have been from Hackney Community College. The work experience counts towards an NVQ qualification and the young people all received awards today from Rob Blackstone, Hackney’s Head of Adult Social Care.
Jenny Edmonson one of the teachers from the college who attended the celebration said: “Students get so much out of it. They do real work and gain confidence.”
At the V&A Museum, at both its Kensington & Museum of Childhood site in Bethnal Green, the young interns assist in many activities and departments. They work in the shops, on the information desks, as tour guides, as escorts for people with disabilities, and also in administrative roles in the offices, all becoming valued members of the team.
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