Episode 1: Welcome to Hackney

This BBC World Service series has been tracking the lives of East Londoners living on a deprived housing estate, in the shadow of the 2012 Olympic Park for the past two years. The BBC's Nina Robinson reports.

Episode 1: Welcome to Hackney

Just moments away from the site of the upcoming London 2012 Olympics, Hackney is in desperate need of regeneration.

Nina Robinson went to the estate to meet the people whose lives will be forever changed by the arrival of the biggest show on Earth.

How will the new Olympic Park impact on their lives? Will government promises over a better way of life come true?

What are their expectations of the Olympic Games?

"We never asked the rest of the world to come here, but seeing as you’re coming let’s make a party of it – involve us, just get us involved!"

This is a plea to the Olympic authorities from Darrell James, local resident and winner of the Thierry Henry award for his youth work.

In the build up to the games, BBC World Service will be regularly returning to the estate, to find out how the huge multi billion dollar investment and regeneration plans are affecting them.

Some, like Darrell, fear more crime and a widening gap between the rich and poor, or that they’ll be priced out of the area altogether.

But others, like 15-year-old Sintayeh from Ethiopia, think that the new facilities will give him better prospects.

Whether that be taking advantage of the better transport links, moving into new housing being built, or just reading from the brand new library.

(Image: View of Hackney beyond Olympic site. Credit: Associated Press)

Available now

25 minutes

Last on

Sun 28 Feb 2010 10:05 GMT

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