Award-winning journalist and news anchor Afua Adom has been announced as the first ever patron of a Hoxton family centre.

Afua has been a long-standing supporter of Ivy Street Family Centre on Whitmore Estate since 2012, when she began attending its services with her daughter.

A presenter for British-African television channel Yanga! TV and Arise news, Afula often appears on the BCC, ITV, CNN and Channel 5 as a contributor.

She has hosted the television show Sustainable Energy for American news giant CNBC, wrote a column for The Voice Newspaper, and was editor-in-chief for Glam Africa Magazine.

She said: “I was on maternity leave and my daughter was one-year-old when I began attending Ivy Street.

“It felt so nice to go to a place that felt like your own living room, a home away from home.

The journalist said at that time she "had lots of things going on" as a new mum, and single parent working part-time.

"The support of other mums was brilliant," she added.

"First it was just being a mum, then a working mum, a single mum. That building was old and decrepit. The toilets were freezing, but it just felt like home."

Ivy Street is run by three local mums. It has been running for 40 years and caters for families with preschool and primary school-aged children.

The centre runs drop-in play sessions, lunch clubs and Growbaby, an initiative that supports vulnerable families with baby clothes and equipment.

Ivy Street's current home, an old pub building, is currently being renovated to provide an accessible, affordable and flexible space to support more families.

Afua says it is an honour to become a patron.

"Post-pandemic, the need for Ivy Street will still be there because people have lost jobs, their income, others are going back to work," she said.

"There’s so many lockdown babies that have been born. It’s really exciting to be a part of the work that Ivy Street Family Centre does.”

Angela Large, director of services, added: “We’re so pleased to have Afua onboard as our first-ever patron.

"She is a wonderful champion of diversity and knows what it means to be a Hackney parent; how difficult that can be when you’re alone, and first-hand the great support that Ivy Street provides our families.”

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