Haringey Community Press

Haringey Community Press

New youth hub opens in Wood Green

Local youth group closely involved in creation of new multipurpose space

Hero for New youth hub opens in Wood Green
Cutting the ribbon at Rising Green Youth Hub are (from left) Olivia Opara, Zena Brabazon, Peray Ahmet and Yasin Dogar (credit Haringey Council)

A new youth centre where children and young adults can socialise and learn new skills has officially opened in Wood Green.A new youth centre where children and young adults can socialise and learn new skills has officially opened in Wood Green.

Rising Green Youth Hub, in Lymington Avenue, provides more than 800 square metres of space over two floors where young people can make use of a range of facilities including a games room, recording studio and kitchen.Rising Green Youth Hub, in Lymington Avenue, provides more than 800 square metres of space over two floors where young people can make use of a range of facilities including a games room, recording studio and kitchen.

Located in the Noel Park ward, which is one of the most deprived in the country, the new hub is aimed at young people between the ages of eleven and 19, and up to 25 for those with special educational needs and disabilities.Located in the Noel Park ward, which is one of the most deprived in the country, the new hub is aimed at young people between the ages of eleven and 19, and up to 25 for those with special educational needs and disabilities.

A group of young people from the local area, Wood Green Young Voices, helped to design the new hub, including the logo, name and building design. Several youngsters joined councillors, youth workers and other stakeholders at an official opening ceremony on Monday.A group of young people from the local area, Wood Green Young Voices, helped to design the new hub, including the logo, name and building design. Several youngsters joined councillors, youth workers and other stakeholders at an official opening ceremony on Monday.

Activities on offer at the hub include music and film production, cookery classes, web design and employment workshops. The games room features board games, a pool table and an air hockey table.Activities on offer at the hub include music and film production, cookery classes, web design and employment workshops. The games room features board games, a pool table and an air hockey table.

One of the Wood Green Young Voices, 15-year-old Yasin Dogar, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS): “I grew up here, and it is the first thing like this ever. This is a very good opportunity for young people and has lots of things to do. There’s a music studio, multimedia room, and a quiet room so you can have one-on-one sessions with counsellors for mental health.One of the Wood Green Young Voices, 15-year-old Yasin Dogar, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS): “I grew up here, and it is the first thing like this ever. This is a very good opportunity for young people and has lots of things to do. There’s a music studio, multimedia room, and a quiet room so you can have one-on-one sessions with counsellors for mental health.

“I don’t think there are any negatives, just positive things that can help people – things like the practice kitchen, so you can take skills out into the real world.”“I don’t think there are any negatives, just positive things that can help people – things like the practice kitchen, so you can take skills out into the real world.”

Yasin said Wood Green Young Voices had been working on the hub since the start of 2020, and he was happy to see that their ideas had been incorporated into the design of the building. He added that he was looking forward to the music studio and practising cooking, so he could gain skills and improve himself.Yasin said Wood Green Young Voices had been working on the hub since the start of 2020, and he was happy to see that their ideas had been incorporated into the design of the building. He added that he was looking forward to the music studio and practising cooking, so he could gain skills and improve himself.

Olivia Opara, who is a director of Haringey Youth Advisory Board and is also a reporter for Haringey Community Press, said the new hub was “absolutely amazing” and would provide a safe space for young people to develop and grow. She added that young people should be free to shape the centre, allowing them to develop themselves and “change the youth culture”.Olivia Opara, who is a director of Haringey Youth Advisory Board and is also a reporter for Haringey Community Press, said the new hub was “absolutely amazing” and would provide a safe space for young people to develop and grow. She added that young people should be free to shape the centre, allowing them to develop themselves and “change the youth culture”.

Pointing out that a lot of negative stereotypes surround young people in the borough and that people making “massive improvements” often do not make the news, Olivia said positive changes like Rising Green should be “part of the story”.Pointing out that a lot of negative stereotypes surround young people in the borough and that people making “massive improvements” often do not make the news, Olivia said positive changes like Rising Green should be “part of the story”.

After the council made cuts to youth provision following the government’s austerity programme from 2010 onwards, Bruce Grove Youth Space in Tottenham became the borough’s only remaining council-run youth centre. The opening of Rising Green aims to address a gap in youth provision further west in Haringey.After the council made cuts to youth provision following the government’s austerity programme from 2010 onwards, Bruce Grove Youth Space in Tottenham became the borough’s only remaining council-run youth centre. The opening of Rising Green aims to address a gap in youth provision further west in Haringey.

Zena Brabazon, cabinet member for children, schools and families, said Rising Green was in a “fantastic location” in the centre of Wood Green, with good access for buses.Zena Brabazon, cabinet member for children, schools and families, said Rising Green was in a “fantastic location” in the centre of Wood Green, with good access for buses.

Cllr Brabazon told the LDRS: “This is for the west [of the borough], where young people have not really had any opportunities. We pledged we would have a youth centre, and here it is, and we have a mass of stuff going on this summer for young people, kids with special needs and under-fives. We have really done our level best to have a diverse programme.”Cllr Brabazon told the LDRS: “This is for the west [of the borough], where young people have not really had any opportunities. We pledged we would have a youth centre, and here it is, and we have a mass of stuff going on this summer for young people, kids with special needs and under-fives. We have really done our level best to have a diverse programme.”

Cllr Brabazon said she hoped the hub would join up with Wood Green Library to provide activities for young people.Cllr Brabazon said she hoped the hub would join up with Wood Green Library to provide activities for young people.

Council leader Peray Ahmet said youth services had taken a “disastrous hit during the austerity years” and Haringey was “one of only a few councils to be opening a youth space right now”.Council leader Peray Ahmet said youth services had taken a “disastrous hit during the austerity years” and Haringey was “one of only a few councils to be opening a youth space right now”.

She added: “We need to do so much more to prevent some of the disastrous things that have been happening in recent times.”She added: “We need to do so much more to prevent some of the disastrous things that have been happening in recent times.”

Speaking to the LDRS, Cllr Ahmet said the council was doing its best to boost youth provision, but the government needed to step up and invest more in youth services.Speaking to the LDRS, Cllr Ahmet said the council was doing its best to boost youth provision, but the government needed to step up and invest more in youth services.

Rising Green Youth Hub is currently open between 2pm and 8pm on weekdays.Rising Green Youth Hub is currently open between 2pm and 8pm on weekdays.