Radio 1 to open Academy for young people in East London ahead of Radio 1’s Hackney Weekend 2012

This year we have spent time consulting with many young people from East London to understand what is important to them and how Radio 1, in the lead up the event, can give them opportunities and something of lasting value."Jason Carter, BBC Radio 1’s Event Director for 2012
Category: Radio 1; Learning; Sport
BBC Radio 1 and BBC Learning announced that they are to embark on an ambitious programme of local engagement and outreach activity in the lead up to BBC Radio 1’s Hackney Weekend, which will include the creation of an Academy, which every young person in the area will be invited to.

Radio 1 and BBC Learning will be partnering with a number of organisations in Hackney and its surrounding boroughs to build a series of unique collaborations and a comprehensive programme of work in the local area which will inspire, educate and create opportunities for the young people of East London.

Opening its doors on 1st June 2012, the Academy will be Radio 1 & 1Xtra's base in Hackney until the main event starts on 23rd June and will offer a programme of workshops and sessions on a range of subjects including business, the arts, career development and media skills, including radio production and journalism.

Four first class ambassadors are involved and will champion the event – they are international music artist Leona Lewis who grew up in Hackney; East London’s award-winning artist and actor Plan B; Radio 1/1Xtra DJ Trevor Nelson MBE and Former World and European Triple Jump Champion Phillips Idowu, both of whom were born in Hackney.

Other plans for the outreach work include:

Inspiring and Celebrating Young UK

Radio 1 will work with youth organisations across the UK to identify inspiring young people. 2012 tickets to the Hackney Weekend will be given to young people who have done some brilliant and inspirational work for their communities, friends and families.

Celebrating East London Art & Music

Radio 1 will be shining a spotlight on young East Londoners, giving them a platform to showcase their talents by handing over the creative look and feel of the Hackney Marshes site to the young people of East London. Working with local artists, art groups and schools from across the six East London Boroughs, Radio 1 will give them the space and support to be able make their own mark on the main event. In addition, every single space on the line up of the BBC Introducing stage will be filled by unsigned & undiscovered East London musicians & acts.

There will be many other initiatives happening around Radio 1's Hackney Weekend including Community radio partnerships, volunteering opportunities and a festival in June which will be curated by the young people of Hackney.

The outreach work will take place throughout June, before the BBC’s biggest ever free-ticketed live music event which takes place on Hackney Marshes on 23rd and 24th June 2012 for the opening weekend of the London 2012 Festival.

Jason Carter, BBC Radio 1’s Event Director for 2012, said: "Our activity in Hackney will be the most ambitious programme of events in the station's history, and our work across the community, is as important as the main live music concert in the park. This year we have spent time consulting with many young people from East London to understand what is important to them and how Radio 1, in the lead up the event, can give them opportunities and something of lasting value."

Abigail Appleton, BBC Learning said: "We work with some of the BBC’s biggest brands to create powerful learning opportunities for all our audiences. I am thrilled to be working so closely with Radio 1 to ensure their Big Weekend in Hackney is not only an extraordinary musical event but an inspiration and catalyst for young people to learn new skills and ideas."

More details about the programme of events will be announced early 2012.

TM