Young boy sits with woman reading a book. Colourful origami birds hang from ceiling above.
Hackney Pirates was founded in 2010 and provides after-school learning sessions for young people aged 9-12 years, who are at risk of/ or are currently underachieving at school.   Children and young people are referred to the service through education and social work, and are given the support to develop literacy, speaking, listening and concentration skills, so that they are more able to achieve in school and beyond.
Following many years of delivering services in temporary locations the charity needed to move to a more permanent base. They acquired a premises owned by the local authority and were able to begin the process of creating a stable and sustainable purpose built learning space. 
We awarded a grant of £10,000 towards the design and material costs for the redevelopment project.  The new space features innovative and bespoke features which aim to inspire positive attitudes to education and promote a sense of excitement about learning.  These include  an underwater-themed learning space, a secret passageway, a library, free standing desks for one-to-one learning, wallpaper designed by the young people and an entrance shaped like a ship.
The project has generated a lot of media interest and the charity has received awards from local publications and websites such as ‘Good Design’.  They were also winners of the Beyond Business competition, run by Bromley-By-Bow Centre, to support new social enterprises, and have been selected as one of the Teach First Innovation Partners. 
The full impact of the grant will be felt over many years.  It is projected that 500 young people will benefit in the first five years of the project.

Photo: Hackney Pirates