by Sarah Ingrams, Reporter
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Young people challenged negative perceptions when they staged a talent show in Hackney last Friday.
Keep The Peace celebrated community spirit through song, dance, acting and poetry performances.
It was organised by young people aged 15-21 from a project called Hackney Empowering Active Team, run by children’s charity Hackney Quest who wanted to promote Hackney youngsters’ creativity, determination and a peaceful community.
Members believe that young people living in the borough are often negatively portrayed even though the majority are not involved in anti-social behaviour.
Hackney Quest director Collette Allen said: “The event was better than we could have expected. It was a positive community event and made an impact on young people.
“It was very inspirational and emotional and shows the ways that young people can do good things in the community.”
The Glenarm Road event concluded with a motivational speech from Nathaniel Levy, from the Robert Levy Foundation, whose brother was killed in Hackney seven years ago and Mark Prince, from the Kiyan Prince Foundation, who lost his son to knife crime.
Ms Allen added: “It was very inspirational and powerful. There were over 300 people but it was complete silence when they were speaking and the young people really took in what they were saying. It was a piece of pain but of hope and change as well.”
Charity Hackney Quest has provided activities and education for disadvantaged and excluded young people for 24 years.