Dalston youngsters to benefit from five new centres

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By poppy_smith | Thursday, November 01, 2012, 20:55

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



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.


For more information visit




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