Young people invited to choose a name for Hackney’s new youth centres

‘You Choose, You Win!’ is a borough-wide competition, running from mid-January to 8 February 2010, inviting young people to come up with a name fit for a new generation of youth centres in Hackney.

Hackney Council, in partnership with The Learning Trust, has committed over £5 million to refurbish three existing centres and build two completely new centres over the next two years, including a flagship centre at Forest Road in the heart of Hackney.

The search is now on for a name that will capture all the possibilities and opportunities built into this programme, which is set to change the face of youth provision in the borough. A programme where young people can access the full range of youth services in safe and welcoming spaces.

Young people aged 11 to 19 can enter the competition either individually or as part of a group of up to eight, and can submit as many ideas for a name as they wish. Entry forms will be available through youth clubs, schools and libraries, and young people will also be able to enter online at

The competition will close on 8 February. A shortlist will be drawn up by a judging panel, comprising 13 to 19 year olds from the participation group, who have been working on the project for the last two years, along with staff from the Youth Service and The Learning Trust and Councillor Rita Krishna, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services.

The shortlist will be posted online at and, from late February onwards, young people will be able to vote for their preferred option. The winning name and brand will be launched in March 2010.

The winning name will be developed as an umbrella brand for each one of the five new centres and will be used on signage, merchandise and literature. The winners will be able to see their idea worked up into a logo that will come to represent excellence in youth provision in the borough in the coming decades.

Councillor Krishna said: “Young people have been central to the success of our bid, and we are as committed as they are to, improving youth provision in high-quality buildings across the borough. I am certain that many young people will come forward with their ideas in this competition and we will have a better offer as a result.”

As an added incentive, the winning individual or group will be given a free pass for an activity of their choosing; for example, dance classes, training courses, adrenaline activities, sport sessions.

The myplace programme will also be running a series of consultation events throughout 2010, so that young people and residents can have their say on the development of the five new youth centres.

Come along and find out more about the exciting plans for the brand new flagship youth centre at Forest Road on Friday 22 January, 3.30 - 7.30pm, and Saturday 23 January, 10am - 2pm, at Rhodes Estate Community Hall, Kirkland Walk (off Beechwood Road), E8 3TA. Have your say on what the building will look like and the activities that will be available there, and meet the architects and youth service staff who will be present to answer questions.