We Care! Youth Engagement in Hackney

2012 Summer Olympics, Christian Church, Christian faith, community outreach, Hackney Council, local community, Olympic Park,

Thursday 19th July 2012

Recently, 20 young people from the UCKG HelpCentre’s Victory Youth Group (VYG) took part in a community environmental project in Hackney. Their aim was to make a positive difference in their local community and help change negative stereotypes of young people, as part of a VYG Project.

The opportunity arose when the UCKG HelpCentre approached Hackney Council asking if a team of youths from the local VYG could undertake a task of benefit to the borough.

Changing Places, a council-led programme that recognises the importance of involving young people in the community, swiftly accepted the offer.

Working with Matthew Watts, Programme Leader from Changing Places and its partners, Wild Life Trust and P&G Capital some of the VYG volunteers helped to re-paint an old pump, which resembled an ammonite fossil.  Others removed waste from the Abbey Creek and invasive species including ragwort’s and goats-rue from the Greenway, Channelsea Path.

VYG volunteer Diana Pinto said: “It was fun and very worthwhile, a great experience. I am glad I helped transform the environment in Hackney. It was a privilege to be part of such project paving the way for the London 2012 Olympics. The artwork and the transformation of the Channelsea Path will provide a visual treat for the spectators who will pass by on their way to the Olympic Park

Youths are often blamed for causing trouble and disturbance in their local communities. Yet in the VYG many young people are really keen to make a positive impact on their local communities.

“Participation in community outreach events, such as these will help to improve perceptions of young people, and that can only be good,” added Miguel Lacerda, the national VYG leader.

The VYG is the youth ministry of the UCKG HelpCentre, which works to help young people develop their full potential. The VYG started in the UK in 1996 and has been growing steadily with branches in many parts of the country. Over 1,300 young people attend the youth centres every week, sharing sessions that include practical teaching, fun and spiritual development.


Note to editors:

UCKG is a Christian church and registered charity that offers a range of practical support activities alongside spiritual support and comfort.  It reached the UK in 1995 and has gone from strength to strength, providing support and spreading the Christian faith.

For further information please contact the UCKG HelpCentre Press Officer via e-mail on press@uckgnew.org or call 020 7686 6033.