Hackney estates see summer of activities thanks to youth project
- Credit: Terence Douet
Hundreds of young people got involved in a youth programme this summer which brought activities and nutritious meals to their Hackney estates.
As part of the government's Holiday Activity and Food Programme, and sponsored by Young Hackney, Game Time's summer project helped 450 young people develop skills and engage in sporting activities.
It also gave them a chance to feel safe having active fun on their estates and socialising with friends, particularly important to those who took part after a long and disruptive Covid lockdown.
Some young people also voiced their concerns during the programme about highly visible gang activities in the areas where they live, which can make it difficult to feel safe in some parts of the borough.
Game Time was run by black, female-led youth organisation, The Mentoring Lab.
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The Mentoring Lab's founder and CEO Elaine Isadora Thomas said: "We have to be smart in how we engage young people who, for whatever reason, are unable to travel around or outside the borough to make the most of Hackney's facilities or youth services.
"Game Time is not just about having fun, but developing qualities such as being reflective, improving responsibility, and increasing self-assurance."
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Young people living on the Banister House, Frampton Park, Nisbet House, and Somerford Grove housing estates enrolled in the Game Time programme with some joining The Mentoring Lab's media team and others learning youth mentoring, sports coaching and other skills.
Restaurants and food donation charities also got involved in the project providing 1,600 meals for young people eligible for free school meals as well as 132 palettes of free food for families.
The meals were cooked by Stamford Hill's Roti Stop, Palm Bay Caribbean restaurant, Cod&Co in Homerton as well as the City Harvest and Bankuet charities.
The Mentor Lab's volunteer photographer Terence Douet, 18, from Hackney, said : "Seeing how different kids interacted with the activities was a delight to capture."
Dominick, aged 11, who's surname was not given said: "The Mentoring Lab has helped me to believe in myself."
To donate visit localgiving.org/charity/thementoringlab