New youth centre to open in Hackney

Young people can find out more about what’s on offer at the borough’s newest youth centre at the launch of the Woodberry Down Young Hackney Centre on 6 April.

The event will coincide with the official opening of the new Woodberry Grove North park, and young people and families will be able to take part in taster sessions including drama, boxing, dance, Olympic sports and music production. There will also be a spoken word performance organised by the North East Youth Forum.

Young people from the Forum will also reveal the new name they have chosen for the centre, in Woodberry Grove. Events will take place from 12-6pm.

Cllr Rita Krishna, Cabinet Member for Education and Children’s Services, said: “At a time when many other areas are closing youth centres, I’m proud that we’ve been able to open new or renovated centres that offer our young people some fantastic facilities.

“Young people have told us that they would like spaces which help them to have fun while also developing their skills and we have tailored the centres to meet those needs.
I'd encourage young people living near the Woodberry Down Estate to come down and find out more.”

The Woodberry Down centre is the last of the five Young Hackney centres to open. The £5m investment was funded by the Myplace scheme and Hackney Council, following an initial funding bid by a group of 13-19 year-olds, who went on to help design the centres.

In their bid they said they wanted:

•         To get young people off street corners and into youth clubs
•         To change negative perceptions they thought people have of Hackney and young people within the borough
•         To achieve a mind shift in young people to convince them there is more than one path in life

The centres aim of be safe and welcoming places for young people aged 8-19 (or up to 25 if they have support needs), where they can access programmes of free, high quality, structured youth activities throughout the week.

Each centre has its own focus to nurture young people’s talents. Hoxton Hall in Shoreditch is a centre for youth arts; Concorde in Homerton specialises in sports; Forest Road is home to Hackney Youth Parliament and other participation projects and the Stoke Newington centre in Milton Gardens focuses on IT and media.

The Woodberry Down centre will be closely linked with enterprise. For example, a recent scheme running from the centre gave young people the opportunity to train in working at heights and basic business skills so they could start up their own commercial window cleaning business.

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