Build Up Hackney Interim Report

Our Build Up Hackney Impact Findings are released today, read it here.

The report is introduced by The Mayor Of Hackney, Philip Glanville; “If we want to have communities where everyone feels welcome, we need young people, enabled by progressive local authorities, to grow up believing they have the power to lead change, now and in the future. I’m proud that Hackney has risen to this challenge, leading the way with this inspirational project and would like to give my full support to young people having a powerful voice in their communities across London.”

Homerton Grove Adventure Playground Opened

On Saturday 25th January, Homerton Grove Adventure Playground opened with an amazing ceremony. It was an absolute pleasure celebrating with the hardworking young people who designed and built this community space, and welcoming the Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville, as well as many locals who will enjoy the playground.

“Thanks to Hackney Play and Build Up for inviting me to open their new collaboration with children of Hackney. This new equipment at Homerton Grove Adventure Playground, was built & designed by the young people themselves at the end of last year. Proud to open it & champion play.”
Mayor of Hackney

Working on Build Up Hackney by Shenique Bass

Hi, my name is Shenique, and I am a young adult working with the Build Up team in my local community. As a lifelong Hackney resident, I’ve never had a say on what happens where I live, so I wanted to take part in a project transforming my local area. For the last 6 months we have been working with young people from two local schools, Cardinal Pole Secondary and Berger Primary, to design and create a new space that they can identify with.

One of the things that drew me towards the project was the chance to experience a wide range of activities and skills. The placement offered me the opportunity to work with the youth and gain experience in a field that I wanted to work in. I currently study architecture and was interested in the urban redevelopment already happening in the community, and what it meant to those who live and work around here. There are a lot of new buildings and construction occurring throughout Hackney in which many local residents and young people have no say in. This has led to disparity among those who have been living here for a long time, and those who have recently opened businesses or moved here. I think it’s important that, with all of the gentrification happening, we have spaces that we can identify with and that allow the community to gather. More often than not, areas of Hackney are being taken and made more luxurious to attract people with more money, but don’t consider those who are already living there. This results in many working class or lower income middle class families being outpriced and not considered. Being a part of creating something like the Build Up Hackney project helps to spark an interest for a stronger cultural background, where they can take ownership of a local space which is important to them, particularly as it is something the local kids have designed themselves.

One of the most gratifying things about the project was the amazing relationship I was able to build with my own community and the local young people. I had so many people pass by and tell me what a great job we were doing, and ‘where will you be going next, can you come to us?’. It made me realise even more how often we need projects like this to exist.

I think through this opportunity I was able to also inspire some of the young people around me to be confident in what they do. For example, many of the young people were very creative, but were not confident in their abilities to design. However, I had the chance to motivate them and show them that they can do anything if they set their mind to it. This pushed them to continue creating a design for the site as a group, and take pride in their beautiful designs.

Growing up in Hackney, we didn’t have many opportunities like this exposed to us. Opportunities like this are important, because they show us that there are many things we can do and be. On the project, we had many different types of professionals: from artists, to youth workers, from architects to tree specialists. They came in and showed the kids what they did, and how they can use their jobs to help transform the local community.

One of the things I took away from this project is the power and determination of the youth to learn and transform their local area. Build Up Hackney has allowed not only the youth to do this, but also myself. Things that I didn’t feel confident in before, I feel a lot more confident in now. For example, I learnt how to use different tools which I was scared to operate before, like angle grinders and circular saws. I also became more confident in leading sessions with the kids, something I couldn’t have imagined myself being confident in doing before!  I can positively say that the kids and I take pride in what we have created, and in the future I hope for more youth to be able to experience the same thing.

Build Up Featured on Blueprint Magazine

“I’m really committed to making sure more projects like this happen in more places around the borough, so there are spaces owned and built by young people”, Mayor of Hackney

We are extremely happy to feature in Blueprint Magazine’s article on young people shaping their built environment, written by Francesca Perry.

The feature, that includes our Aldriche Way and Build Up Hackney projects, tells the story of how Build Up has won political and institutional support for young people in Hackney to shape spaces in their community. We look forward to working with the London Borough of Hackney to develop further projects next year.

Build Up Hackney Opening

On Wednesday 30th October, we had the opening ceremony of the Flanders Way in Hackney led by the local young people, Mayor of Hackney and TV presenter Dr. Ronx.

After 22 months of work and a huge summer build, we completed our project which is designed and built by young people as a product of them having a say in their changing area.

Over 150 people attended the opening that started with young people giving tours of the site and talking about the positive impact of the project in their lives and their environment. At the event, we were awarded the Mayor of London’s Volunteering Award 2019.

Lollard Street Bike Workshop Nearly Finished

This month we are back at Lollard St to complete our Bike workshop. So far, over 100 young people at the playground have contributed to the build. This half term, we are fitting the roof to the workshop outdoor repair space, kindly subsidised by Filon and Southern Sheeting.

The workshop will host the playground’s bike project which offers free bike repairs and mechanic training for local young people.

Build Up Hackney Complete

This week, we completed our major Build Up Hackney project! The project, a new public space in the heart of Homerton / Hackney Wick (E9 5AQ), has been designed and built by young people from Cardinal Pole Secondary SchoolBerger Primary School, and community organisation Hackney Quest.

Thank you for everyone’s support in making this project possible, and especially the generous contributions of The Worshipful Company of Builders’ MerchantsC&S Builders MerchantsToolbankMakita Power Tools and Lawsons Timber Building & Fencing Supplies.

The space will be open to the public from 30th October.

A Big Thanks To Second Home London Fields For Having Us

We have settled in our new workspace at Second Home London Fields, after a summer on site. It is amazing being together as a team in our new home. Thank you for having us!

More about Second Home:

A workspace as creative as you are.

They believe that diversity makes creativity stronger, so they build workspaces, bookshops and communities designed to bring different types of people, organisations and industries together in new ways.

Follow @secondhome_io on Instagram.

Bosco Seating Area Completed

Our spring project at the Bosco Centre in Surreys Keys, funded by the Salters Charitable Trust, is now complete.

The project was designed by young people from the Bosco Centre and two London based young migrant and refugee organisations (Dost and SLRA).

The team wanted to create a space which everyone in the centre could use and built a new tranquil seating area surrounded by greenery and trees.

Build Up Hackney Project Job Offer for 18-23 Year Olds

Build Up Hackney is offering two PAID roles for young adults aged 18 – 23 who want to help local young people design and build a new community space at Flanders Way, Hackney. The placements have been made possible with support from Wick Award.

Two different placement roles are available

Placement 1: Design and Construction
Working with Build Up’s team to design and build a new public space at Flanders Way.

Placement 2: Youth and Community Engagement
Engaging local young people and the community, and ensure their voices are heard

Hours: One day / week 29th April – 20th September 2019. Additional days in May Half-Term & Summer
Pay: £10.55/hour
Application deadline: Sunday 7th April

To apply for the roles and for full details, visit

If anyone has queries about the roles, they should contact Huan: or 07427 704291.