Young Hackney is our service for all young people aged 6-19 and up to 25 with additional needs. Bringing together the skills and expertise of the youth service we aim to help all of Hackney’s young people to enjoy their youth and become independent and successful adults.

Young Hackney:

  • runs youth hubs, trips and projects
  • provides opportunities, support and guidance for young people
  • helps young people get involved in their communities
  • works to help prevent young people who might get involved in antisocial behaviour or crime
  • works with young people who have been arrested or convicted of a criminal offence to make sure they do not offend again
  • helps with substance misuse, mental health issues and
  • helps young victims of crime

Young Hackney represents a significant change in the way we do youth work.

It brings together the skills and expertise of the youth service, youth support team and youth offending team into Young Hackney units – self-directed, multi-skilled work teams where expertise is shared.

The system is designed to give young people and their parents easier access to services. Young people can start their journey wherever Young Hackney workers are based: whether this is at a youth centre, at a school, or within a youth health clinic.

Units are based in the Young Hackney centres and at other venues in the community, where they will work closely with schools and other universal services. Staff at each of the four neighbourhood centres, linked to the central hub at Forest Road, work to develop partnership arrangements with other youth providers to ensure a local youth offer that is:

  • diverse
  • meeting the full spectrum of young people’s needs
  • available at times when young people want to access services

Young Hackney is founded on the belief that all young people in the borough have the ability to achieve, regardless of their background – and given the right set of circumstances, and a positive range of influences, they will reach their full potential.

The challenge for Young Hackney is to provide opportunities for all to thrive, while giving appropriate support to those young people who need it, when they need it. We recognise that some young people will require more intensive and persistent support than others. Under these circumstances, we expect the service to be able to intervene in a more effective way.

For some, the level of support required will need to be intensive and persistent. For others, positive contact with their peers and the opportunity to contribute to the development of the community will be sufficient. In all cases, we will seek to ensure that young people have the opportunity to influence, shape and improve the services on offer to them.

In providing support, Young Hackney workers will always start by looking at the ‘whole’ young person, identifying the positive networks and influences that already exist in their life, and finding ways to reinforce these networks. More often than not, this will be other young people they know, and we will always try to make sure young people are guided by the constructive influence of their peers.

The increased importance of young people’s peers is a natural part of the transition to independence. By identifying with peers, adolescents start to develop moral judgment and values, and to explore how they differ from their parents. Their ability to act independently – their agency – develops over time.

Young Hackney recognises that the shift in the adolescent’s social world from family to peers does not lessen the importance of the family in his or her life. In some circumstances, it may be necessary to support not only the young person but also his/her family through change.

We also believe that young people are not the passive recipients of circumstances; that they play an active role in shaping the context in which they operate. Influences are bi-directional and effective relationships are collaborative.

Young Hackney is therefore committed to reaping the positive benefits of group work, understanding that it provides a context in which young people can help each other. It can enable them to influence and change personal, group, organisational and community problems.