Summer school keeps Hackney teens off the streets

SCHOOL may be out but Hackney teens have been keeping busy during the holidays - learning to construct a car, design an outfit and shoot a short film in workshops run by an anti-gun and knife crime charity.

Young people aged 11 to 17 have been taking part in the five-week summer school run by the Robert Levy Foundation at Hackney Community College in Falkirk Street, Shoreditch.

The foundation was set up in memory of Hackney A-level student Robert Levy who suffered multiple stab wounds in September 2004 after defending a younger schoolboy. It campaigns for an end to youth violence and provides alternative opportunities in the community.

Activities offer at the summer school have included workshops in design and engineering, as well as a trip to Alton Towers.

Sixteen-year-old Jordan Takooree, who took part in motor mechanics workshop, said: “I’m interested in cars and plan to do a car bodywork course in September. This workshop is preparing me for the course with the experience.

“I really enjoy it, plus it’s something useful to do over the holidays. This is my second year coming to this summer school and I would recommend it to everyone.”

Patricia Levy, of the Robert Levy Foundation, said: “There is a need for activities like this in the community. As well as giving young people something to do over the summer holidays, it also helps them with their development and interpersonal skills. They make new friends and learn how to work well with others.”

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The young people’s short films and garments will be showcased at the Robert Levy Foundation youth talent event on September 18 at the Hackney Empire in Mare Street. For more information about the foundation, the summer school and the talent showcase, go to