Friends set up a community centre for dogs and humans in Hackney Wick

Two friends are setting up a community centre for dogs and humans in and around Fish Island and Hack

Two friends are setting up a community centre for dogs and humans in and around Fish Island and Hackney Wick. Picture: Barkney Wick - Credit: Barkney Wick

Two friends are setting up a community centre for dogs and humans living in and around Fish Island in Hackney Wick.

Founders of Barkney Wick, Jamie and Lucy with pup Wolfgang. Picture: Barkney Wick

Founders of Barkney Wick, Jamie and Lucy with pup Wolfgang. Picture: Barkney Wick - Credit: Barkney Wick

The idea for Barkney Wick came when Hackney Wick resident Jamie Swan got a puppy called Wolfgang. She met Lucy Mclaughlin, a local dog-walker and animal rights champion and they quickly became friends and wondered why there wasn’t dog day care available in the area.

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But instead of setting up a place just for dogs they decided Hackney Wick needed a community centre with education and ethics at its heart, for both dogs and humans.

Jamie told the Gazette: “Fast forward to today and we have our unit, the fit out has started and we have had donations of materials and services from so many local businesses and individuals. The project is funded by a government loan and crowdfunding and my own savings - so there is a lot on the line but we are so excited.”

Barkney Wick plans to open in January 2021. Picture: Barkney Wick

Barkney Wick plans to open in January 2021. Picture: Barkney Wick - Credit: Barkney Wick

The centre, which is located on the border of Hackney and Tower Hamlets, will provide dog day care, walks and training and will have a plant-based cafe when it opens in early January 2021.


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“But Barkney Wick will be far more than this. We want to positively engage with and further forge the community of Hackney Wick,” said Jamie.

The two friends also plan to use locally-sourced recycled and up-cycled materials to fit out the centre as the ethos of the project is to be eco-friendly and low waste, with aims to be zero waste within five years of opening.

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The centre will provide dog day care, walks and training and will have a plant-based cafe when it op

The centre will provide dog day care, walks and training and will have a plant-based cafe when it opens in early January 2021. Picture: Barkney Wick - Credit: Barkney Wick

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Frankie and Lucy are in talks with veterinary charity StreetVet which will help them offer support, care advice and training to homeless people with dogs and will use the centre to put on events for people in their neighbourhood.

“The response we have had from our local community so far has been incredible: so positive and heartwarming, especially so during the current pandemic.

“All the staff we have lined up to start with us are local and come from us from a variety of backgrounds - some changing career after losing their jobs - and all incredibly passionate about our project and the ethics that come with it.

“A local lady, Mareli Pelzer, has even taken on the task of preparing natural plant based dog treats for our “Lick&Mix” dog treats wall - and they are incredible.”

Local resident and owner of catering company Tastery, Mareli Pelzer, has taken on the task of prepar

Local resident and owner of catering company Tastery, Mareli Pelzer, has taken on the task of preparing natural plant based dog treats for the centre. Picture: Barkney Wick - Credit: Barkney Wick

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The layout of the unit was designed by Amy Rebecca Interiors, another local resident who lives near the soon-to-be community centre.

The Barkney Wick founders are crowdfudning with SpaceHive by clicking here

Follow Barkney Wick’s progress on instagram @barkneywick or click here

The centre is located on the border of Hackney and Tower Hamlets. Picture: Barkney Wick

The centre is located on the border of Hackney and Tower Hamlets. Picture: Barkney Wick - Credit: Barkney Wick

The project aims to be zero waste within five years of opening. Picture: Barkney Wick

The project aims to be zero waste within five years of opening. Picture: Barkney Wick - Credit: Barkney Wick

Jamie Swan and Lucy Mclaughlin outside the soon-to-be community centre. Picture: Barkney Wick

Jamie Swan and Lucy Mclaughlin outside the soon-to-be community centre. Picture: Barkney Wick - Credit: Barkney Wick

The friends are funding the Barkney Wick project with a government loan, crowdfunding and savings.

The friends are funding the Barkney Wick project with a government loan, crowdfunding and savings. Picture: Barkney Wick - Credit: Barkney Wick

The layout of the unit was designed by local resident Amy Rebecca Interiors. Picture: Barkney Wick

The layout of the unit was designed by local resident Amy Rebecca Interiors. Picture: Barkney Wick - Credit: Barkney Wick

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