Celebration of Hackney’s youth projects

There was a special gathering at Hackney Town Hall on Thursday (26 March) to celebrate the projects that have been developed and successfully applied to the Youth Opportunity and Capital Funds.

Over 200 people, comprising youth projects from across Hackney, managers, external organisations, panels from other boroughs, and special guests including Councillor Rita Krishna, Hackney Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, attended the Youth Opportunity and Capital Fund Showcase and Dinner.

The Youth Opportunity Fund (YOF) and Youth Capital Fund (YCF) are special funds provided by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, London Development Agency and Government Office for London. The funds aim to empower young people in Hackney to develop, deliver and participate in projects that they enjoy and benefit from.

The evening was a lively celebration mixed with presentations and performances including a martial arts demonstration by VLC Youth Project; dancing from KANGA Kurdish Youth Group; and a performance by local up and coming hip-hop act Bubbz. Certificates were also presented to projects funded by the YOF.

Councillor Krishna said: “It was wonderful to see at first hand and in one place the range of ways youth opportunity fund money has been used in the two years since it was launched. Young people have shown great enterprise and creativity – which is why it is important that such things continue to be led by young people with support where they want or need it. My congratulations to all involved.”

So far, the YOF has supported over 150 youth led projects and activities, from events and residentials to the arts, also sports, journalism, film, music and I.T. projects. The YCF has helped in the renovation and refurbishment of a number of premises and purchased new equipment to support youth projects.

The funds are managed by a group of extremely dedicated young people, trained as grant makers, who have developed the criteria for assessment and regularly meet to award funding. The grant makers planned and organised the Showcase event and were the hosts for the evening.

“It was a really good event and a chance to see some of the local projects in action,” said Alex Teniola, 16, grant maker on the YOF panel. "The funding is an important source of income for many of them and it was great to see what our support has helped to achieve.”

The event was organised with the support of Hackney Youth Service. For more information about YOF, YCF and the Youth Service call 020 8356 7404 or visit: