Hackney organisation gets support from Idris Elba, Sabrina Elba and Christian Louboutin

Hackney-born Idris Elba, Sabrina Dhowre Elba and Christian Louboutin.

Hackney-born Idris Elba, Sabrina Dhowre Elba and Christian Louboutin are supporting a Hackney arts organisation through a shoe collection initiative. - Credit: Misan Harriman

Idris Elba has joined with a Hackney arts organisation in raising awareness for racial injustice. 

The actor is a patron at Immediate Theatre and has come together with wife Sabrina and stiletto shoe designer Christian Louboutin for the campaign. 

This will see the theatre stand as one of five grassroots organisations from around the world which will benefit from the proceeds of The #WalkAMileInMyShoes capsule collection. 

The collection includes red-bottom pumps and trainers adorned with a plant called Mandela's Gold and the phrase, "Walk a Mile in My Shoes". 

It was designed by Idris, who grew up in Hackney, Sabrina and friend Christian Louboutin, to raise awareness of the social and racial injustices faced by many around the world. 

All proceeds from the sale of the shoes will support Immediate Theatre and four other organisations working to fight oppression and advance racial justice and equal rights. 

Young people from Immediate Theatre with gift bags.

Young people from Immediate Theatre’s received special gift bags from Louboutin and the Elbas, with T-shirts from the collection and personal letters for each of them to mark the launch of the shoe collection. - Credit: Immediate Theatre

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Jo Carter, artistic director of Immediate Theatre said: “We are all delighted to share what Idris, Sabrina and Christian have been doing for us behind the scenes.

"We’re incredibly grateful for Idris’ constant support of our organisation and the young people we work with, it is wonderful to have a patron who truly recognises the importance of community organisations working at the grassroots."

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Other organisations supported by the cause include feminist hub Purposeful, Be Rose International, who provide humanitarian relief for people in need of emergency assistance; The Somali Hope Foundation; and Gathering for Justice, a movement to end child incarceration.

Immediate Theatre are the only UK-based charity to benefit from the collection. 

The collaboration comes as the community arts organisation is preparing to celebrate its 25th birthday this October.

Proceeds from the collection will help fund the Immediate Theatre's multi-disciplinary project called Can I Walk In Your Shoes?, which will explore the hopes and dreams of young people living in Hackney. 

The project will begin with a summer holiday production, Exposure, which will offer young people the chance to work with a professional playwright and director to create a script and a designer to create sets and costumes. 

Exposure runs from August 2-21 and will see two live shows performed  at the Tower Theatre in Stoke Newington.

Immediate Theatre participants.

Participants of Immediate Theatre and Participation Manager Charmain Humphrey with gift bags and T-shirts from the collection. - Credit: Immediate Theatre

The proceeds from the shoe collection will also help to support Immediate Theatre’s annual estate-based Youth Theatre programme which delivers eight weekly youth theatres on estates across the borough, all of which are free to local young people ranging from ages five-25. They will be accepting new referrals to the programme in September.

Jo added: "We are honoured to be part of an initiative which addresses social injustices around the world, and we feel a strong sense of responsibility to address the inequalities present within our own neighbourhoods and communities and to support young people to challenge the injustices they face and create more positive futures."

Idris Elba became the first Patron of Immediate Theatre last July, honouring his Hackney roots and reflecting his belief in using the arts to bring people from different backgrounds and communities together.

Chairmain Humphrey, participation manager at Immediate Theatre added: “This is a really exciting time for our young people and an opportunity for them to have a platform and a voice on the issues affecting their futures. 

"These experiences really open the eyes of our participants to their potential and allow them to believe that reaching their goals is really possible. The young people were overjoyed to receive their gift bags as part of the [shoe collection's] launch; each bag had the young person’s name on and a personal message which meant so much to them and really showed the genuine care that Idris, Sabrina and Christian have for this initiative."

The #WalkAMileInMyShoes collection is on sale now. Find out more at walkamileinmyshoes.christianlouboutin.com/en

Young people interested in getting involved in the Immediate Theatre's Exposure project are invited to a taster workshop on June 23, 5-7pm at the Wally Foster Community Centre on Homerton Road. 

To find out more or to sign up, contact info@immediate-theatre.com

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