Published:  06:23 PM, 19 May 2023

400 young people design Tower Hamlets council youth service

400 young people design Tower Hamlets council youth service

Tower Hamlets (LONDON): 400 young people took part in a series of four interactive ‘Hackathon’ events to design their future youth service.

Last month, the council announced a huge £13.7m investment in a new youth service, including a rebrand and expansion.

The new youth service, named Young Tower Hamlets (YTH), will provide a diverse programme of free opportunities and support for young people aged 11-19 (25 with SEND) across the borough, and is part of Mayor Rahman’s wider £19m investment in young people over the next few years.

The four Hackathon events on 2, 3, 4 and 11 May formed part of the consultation process. They featured workshops designed to stimulate discussion, generate ideas and provide young people with an opportunity to contribute their vision to design their future youth service.

The workshops included:

·       Needs and wants: Creating a Modern Youth Offer: Young people identified issues that matter to them and gave their views on opportunities and activities that would most meet their needs.

·       Seeing the Future: A Virtual Reality Experience: Using Virtual Reality headsets, young people learnt about the ‘Metaverse’ and the prospects it could offer for engagement.

·       Nailing the Brand: Is what you see what you get? Ideas for logos and straplines were created as well as thoughts on what would and would not appeal to them.

The borough’s Youth Council helped plan and design the events, and young people supported by co-facilitating workshops, welcoming attendees, and giving speeches and performances.

The events were filmed by youth work led production company Know Wonder who employed and trained local young people to a professional standard on how to film and interview their peers at the events. The film will be showcased a launch event in the Summer.

Lutfur Rahman, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “The Hackathon was a resounding success. Each event had a brilliant turnout which shows that young people are excited about the launch of Young Tower Hamlets and the opportunity to get their voices heard.

“Thank you to the youth teams, Osmani Trust, Spotlight, George Green’s School, Haileybury Centre and all the other partners who supported the facilitation of the Hackathon.”

Cllr Maium Talukdar, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Education, Youth and Lifelong Learning, said:  “I was pleased to attend two of the four Hackathon events. There was a great energy in the room with valuable ideas and discussions. I look forward to incorporating the young people’s contributions into Young Tower Hamlets.”

Sonny Spillane, aged 17, said: “If a young person knows that they’ve got somewhere that they feel comfortable and somewhere that they’re going to enjoy themselves, they’re going to want to come. As a volunteer, I want to make every young person feel like this is a place for them.”

Tanvir Ahmed, aged 16, said: “As soon as I came in, I was welcomed by staff members and I felt very welcome. I felt like I was at home. Everyone was having a great time.”

Anas Mohamed, aged 19, said: “Kids get bored easily, so there should be consistent, new things for them to do.”

Young people can also give their views by filling out an online survey.

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