Poplar youth centre puts ‘spotlight’ on its role models to tackle child poverty

Making a difference to East London's young people... Spotlight's youth workers Hodon Hassan, Khadija

Making a difference to East London's young people... Spotlight's youth workers Hodon Hassan, Khadija Begum, Nadine Frederick and Treaser Jassal . Picture: Poplar Harca - Credit: Poplar Harca

Calls for “strong youth provision” to tackle child poverty and inequality have been made by the East End’s biggest youth service on its fifth anniversary.

Making a difference to East London's young people... Spotlight's youth workers Hodon Hassan, Khadija

Making a difference to East London's young people... Spotlight's youth workers Hodon Hassan, Khadija Begum, Nadine Frederick and Treaser Jassal . Picture: Poplar Harca - Credit: Poplar Harca

The urgency has been highlighted at Poplar's Spotlight flagship youth centre by its director Daniel Rose.

He is calling for "positive role models" for young people to be acknowledged as key to tackling poverty.

"East London is an inspirational place for them to live," he said. "But there are barriers to achieving their full potential."

The centre, run by Poplar Harca regeneration organisation, arranges creative activities which have attracted 10,000 youngsters since 2014, in the face of the East End's highest child poverty rate in the country.

Making a difference to East London's young people... Spotlight's youth workers Hodon Hassan, Khadija

Making a difference to East London's young people... Spotlight's youth workers Hodon Hassan, Khadija Begum, Nadine Frederick and Treaser Jassal . Picture: Poplar Harca - Credit: Poplar Harca

The fifth anniversary was led by youth workers including Dizzee Rascal's hype man Aaron Williams, who said: "Spotlight lets young people use their voice in light of the negative stories that dominate the media about youth."

The centre at Langdon Park provides a space to explore self-identity and full potential with guidance from professional youth workers.

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The anniversary celebration had performances from IMD Legion dance company and grime artists Diamond, as well as Skye and Edweezy from Spotlight's own record label.