Young men from across Hackney attended an inspirational careers event at Young Hackney’s Forest Road Youth Hub on Tuesday 2 October!

Over 50 young people attended the event, coming from local secondary schools; City Academy, Stoke Newington, Hackney New School, Skinners and Swanlea. At the event 17 local professional men and entrepreneurs of all ages and from a range of backgrounds, shared their stories and offered advice about their field of work.

Guest speakers included company director Richard Blackburn, who set up his own multi million pound recruitment company, after leaving school with only a few GCSEs. Alongside Firefighter Richard Reid, entrepreneur Matt Lo and Reg Amoah social responsibility manager for charity ELBA.

Inspiring Young Men
Inspiring Young Men

Matt Lo, Founder and CEO of health and fitness company Outrivals, said:

“It’s good for young people to know there are different options in life, and to feel that they can be open minded when thinking about their future. I hope young people can learn today that you will get far with a good work ethic, and that you shouldn’t be afraid to dream, as dreams can take you a long way.”

The young audience listened to speeches and took part in relaxed discussions all of the speakers. Which also included Hackney Council officers, apprentices, film industry professionals, tech experts and people from other fields who all had an inspirational story to tell.

The speakers talked about their real life experiences, successes and failures, which all helped them grow and achieveYoung people discussed their dreams and aspirations and saw how volunteering and hobbies could be key to getting the future careers they want.

The groups also talked about the importance of first impressions, what employers are looking for, and even practiced handshakes and eye contact.

Mahin Ahmed, a Year 9 pupil from Swanlea School said:

“It’s been great hearing from different people who choose different paths for their careers. It’s great to learn about how they made mistakes, but learnt from them and that it doesn’t matter if you made a mistake or not because you will learn a thing or two.”

Pauline Adams, Head of Young Hackney said:

“It’s important for Hackney’s young people to hear about a diverse range of careers, from setting up your own business to working in the emergency services…to think more widely about what they can achieve in their futures and feel inspired. I would like to thank all those who volunteered their time and expertise on the day.”


For more information about up-coming events and other things going on follow @younghackney on Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter.

If you want to find out more about volunteering with young people, contact xanthippi.karkantou@hackney.gov.uk.