Hackney youth group uses grant to boost volunteering

Laburnum Boat Club meal.

Laburnum Boat Club is a community-based project by Regents Canal in South-Hackney which aims to provide opportunities for the personal development of young people and their families through water-based activities. - Credit: Laburnum Boat Club

An £11,472 grant saw a Hackney youth group boost volunteering during the pandemic and fund a community canteen run by disabled young people. 

Hackney-based youth group Laburnum Boat Club used its Jack Petchey Foundation Giving Something Back grant to help create young people give back to their communities through volunteering. 

The club, located by Regents Canal in South-Hackney, used the money to hire a project leader to mentor young volunteers.

Beth Ettinger, Jack Petchey coordinator at Laburnum Boat Club, said: “[The grant] allowed us to help young people with disabilities reach their own potential and feel part of the community in a way they hadn't before.

"This became even more important over lockdown, when we all felt isolated and alone."

The community canteen is run by young people aged 15-25.

The community canteen is run by young people aged 15-25. - Credit: Labernum Boat CLub

A total of 22 young people achieved over 850 hours of volunteering for the club, almost 40 hours for each volunteer.

The grant also funded a community canteen run by disabled young people.

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Canteen volunteers were responsible for producing healthy and affordable meals for their community, a particularly important service during the pandemic.

Young volunteers at Labernum Boat Club.

The young volunteers running the community canteen learned new skills in food prep, safety, budgeting, and communication and gained a Food Hygiene certificate. - Credit: Labernum Boat Club

A young volunteer prepares food at Labernum Boat Club.

A young volunteer prepares food at Labernum Boat Club. - Credit: Labernum Boat Club