Hundreds of teenagers have been involved in interactive 'hackathon' events to help design the future of a youth service in the East End.

A programme for youngsters aged up to 19 is being set up with almost £14million from Tower Hamlets Council to rebrand and expand its youth facilities.

The rebranding is being tagged Young Tower Hamlets and is part of the town hall’s £19m investment for youth activities over the next few years.

The four 'hackathons' staged earlier this month were used as the council’s consultation process and attracted 400 young people.

“Kids get bored easily,” 19-year-old Anas Mohamed admits. “So there should be consistent, new things for them to do.”

Workshops were run to stimulate discussion, generate suggestions and provide a platform for ideas on how to design the future youth service.

They involved a virtual reality experience with headsets to look into the future and learn about the metaverse and its prospects and what youth facilities the council should provide.

Volunteer Sonny Spillane, who is 17, said: “A young person is going to want to come if they know they’ve got somewhere that they feel comfortable in, where they’re going to enjoy themselves. As a volunteer, I want to make every young person feel like this is a place for them.”

The open atmosphere was aimed at being welcoming and encouraging youngsters to get involved, as 16-year-old Tanvir Ahmed found.

He said: “I felt welcomed by staff as soon as I came in. It felt like I was at home.”

The events were filmed by Know Wonder production company, which trains young people to a professional standard on how to film and interview.

The film of the hackathons is being screened in public later in the summer.

The four events were supported by the Osmani Trust in Whitechapel, the Haileybury Centre in Stepney, the Spotlight Centre in Poplar and George Green’s School on the Isle of Dogs.

Deputy mayor Maium Talukdar attended two hackathons himself and pledged to use the “valuable ideas and discussions” in setting up the rebranded Young Tower Hamlets youth service.