Five new Young Hackney centres open their doors

A week-long celebration, to mark the official opening of five new Young Hackney centres, began at the Forest Road centre in Dalston on Saturday, with hundreds of families and young people dropping in to find out what it has to offer.

The centres cost around £6.5m and were funded through the myplace initiative and Hackney Council. The launch festival continues throughout the half term break, with each of the centres offering taster sessions.

A group of young people helped to put the funding bid together and went on to help design the centres. In their bid they said they wanted:
  • To get young people off street corners and into clubs
  • To change the negative perceptions that people have of Hackney and young people within the borough
  • To achieve a mind shift in young people, to convince them there’s more than one path in life
Each centre has its own speciality, to enable young people to nurture their talents. Hoxton Hall, in Shoreditch focuses on the arts; Concorde, in Homerton, specialises in sports;  Woodberry Down is a specialist enterprise centre; and the Stoke Newington centre, in Milton Gardens, focuses on IT and media.  The Forest Road centre will provide a home for youth leadership in the borough, becoming a base for the Youth Parliament, Youth Inspection Team and Youth Volunteering programmes. 

Cllr Rita Krishna, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “This is a really important project for us; investing in our young people is a priority for Hackney so I’m proud that we’re able to do that in such an exciting way, giving them a place to spend time together, learn new skills, and the great sporting opportunities form a key part of our Olympic legacy.

"This week is just a taster of what's to come; there's something for everyone so there's absolutely no excuse for young people in Hackney to say they're bored anymore!"

The centres aim to be safe and welcoming places for young people to go where they can access a full programme of high quality, structured youth activities throughout the week, including: sports, media, arts and drama, Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, cooking, and job and life skills. Health and wellbeing advice will also be available. Information, advice and guidance will be delivered by the Council, local voluntary groups and partner agencies.

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