Project launched to tackle deprivation in Hackney Wick as young people talk centre stage

Young people and community groups organisations came together at Hackney Town Hall on February 8 to

Young people and community groups organisations came together at Hackney Town Hall on February 8 to launch the report Hackney Wick through young eyes. Photo by Hackney Council - Credit: Archant

Giving a voice to young people growing up in Hackney Wick is a key aim of a council-backed project launched yesterday (Thursday).

Despite the substantial regeneration of the area in the past decade, including the Olympic Park on its doorstep and a slosh of trendy bars, Hackney Wick remains the most deprived of the borough’s 21 wards.

Challenges facing people living there – over a quarter of whom are under 19 – include lack of employment and gang violence.

A report, dubbed ‘Hackney Wick through young eyes’, was launched at the town hall by Mayor of Hackney Phil Glanville, who has pledged to respond to issues raised in the document – one of which was encouraging more of a dialogue between younger and older generations.

Luke Billingham, of youth charity Hackney Quest, is one of the leads on the project.

The 26-year-old said: “The report highlights that there are many things young people love about Hackney Wick, but also that they face major issues in the area, which need to be addressed.

“Having grown up in Hackney Wick myself, I’m keen to ensure that our recommendations are acted upon. We welcome any comments or feedback anyone may have on the report, or any ideas for addressing the issues it describes - especially from young people.”

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17-year-old Jordon Isaacs, who is also a lead on project said: “This report is important to me as it expresses all young people’s problems in Hackney and gives them a chance to tell everyone how they feel in a summarised format.”

About 65 people attended the report launch, made up of council staff, business leaders and voluntary groups. The event included speeches from young people from Hackney Wick followed by interactive theme-based discussions covering; mental health and schools, youth crime, housing, youth provision, employment and regeneration.

Mr Glanville said: “It is imperative that we give young people a real platform to share their voice and ideas. This report gives a deep insight how life in the borough is perceived and experienced by our young population. Today I pledged that not only will the Council publish a full written response, but it will deliver on the ground in Hackney Wick a meaningful response to these important challenges.”

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