Young people in Wood Green have vowed to make a major difference for their fellow youngsters by shaping a brand, new youth hub in the heart of Haringey.

A group collectively known as Wood Green Young Voices have been working in partnership alongside architects Freehaus, JA Projects and representatives from the local authority to co-design and co-produce the architectural design of this inclusive youth hub, including its brand, name, design and logo as well as what its programme will offer young people.

Aimed at young people between the ages of 11 and 19 and those up to 25 with a disability here in Haringey, the youth hub will offer them an inclusive and safe space to relax and socialise, enjoy themselves and learn.

Those attending school, or living in, Wood Green are at risk of gang violence and knife crime, with the Noel Park ward among the most deprived areas of the country* (*in the highest 10%). Any association our young people have with gangs and knives invariably comes with consequences too, with the impacts duly felt across their families and wider communities.

Youngsters in Wood Green are determined to change the perception of their local area and the youth hub will go some way to achieving that objective.

Cllr Zena Brabazon. Haringey Council’s Cabinet Member for Early Years, Children & Families, said:

It’s fantastic to see young people from our borough play a pivotal part in helping to design this community asset right in the heart of Haringey.

They can be rightly proud of the role they’ve played in bringing to fruition the youth hub, which will not only benefit them, their families and peers but many other young people and their relatives for many more months and years to come.

We’ve made it one of our priorities to invest in our young people and this is another fine example of how we’re helping them to get on in life and achieve their dreams.

One of the Young Voices involved in the project, Jasmine, 14, from Wood Green, said:

I’ve loved being part of Wood Green Young Voices. It’s provided me with so many amazing insights into people’s views on Wood Green as well as London as a whole, and the diversity of the group ensures that all views are represented.

The group has meant a lot to me and it was the highlight of my day on many occasions. It’s been amazing to see the youth hub grow from a mere concept into something really quite amazing and I will 10,000% be visiting :).

To date, the Wood Green Young Voices have fed their lived experiences of Wood Green into the project and that has influenced the colours, building designs and working titles for the youth hub, with a selection of proposed names and logos then being put to a public vote.

They have also developed digital and visual skills, while learning about architecture and the design process during their virtual co-design and co-production workshops.

Jonathan Hagos and Jayden Ali, Directors at Freehaus and JA Projects respectively, said in a joint statement:

London’s high streets and community institutions need to be safe and welcoming, representing their daily users.

It has been an honour to work alongside the Wood Green Young Voices to collaboratively design a youth hub that reflects their diverse agendas and supports their ambitions.

The new youth hub is guided by the need for a considered retrofit of an existing high street retail unit and a design that embraces circular economy principles.

Together, we’re delivering a youth hub of the future, for the future; offering a dynamic and nurturing space for the young people of Haringey to inhabit and grow.

With support from the Greater London Authority (GLA) via the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund, the youth hub will provide a broad range of activities such as:

Employment and life skills workshops
Informal education, arts and sports
Music: production/design/business development
Podcasting/Film production
Training kitchen/Café area
Web design/digital design

Building improvement works have already commenced at the site of the former BrightHouse store at 2 Lymington Avenue (N22 6JG), with the youth hub set to be launched there by the middle of this year.

The Wood Green Young Voices will reveal the name of and logo for it closer to the launch date on Haringey Council’s social media platforms.

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