Spotlight on… Platform
Centre manager Steve Hunt on what to expect from the new offering at Platform youth hub
What brought you to Platform?
My background is in youth and community. One of the great things about Platform is, it’s open to all young people. They can drop in, have fun and get help and support – and that can make a huge difference to young people’s lives. I’m also very passionate about addressing problems before they become more serious and dealing with deep-rooted issues. Places like Platform are vital to that.
Who is Platform for?
Platform is for young people aged 13–21, who live or study in Islington. While most of our members are from Islington, some travel from much further afield, as such facilities don’t exist where they live. While we’d never turn them away, Platform is for local young people and we want them to feel it’s a place for them. Platform sits on the edge of the Andover Estate in the north of Islington: part of my role is to speak to local young people and voluntary groups to understand the barriers to accessing Platform and what we can do to break them down.
What does it offer?
The main focus of Platform is creative and performing arts. It has its own theatre, a dance studio, music recording studio and media suite, alongside a range of other spaces that can be used for one-to-one counselling or group work. It’s an incredible resource. Young people can take part in a wide range of activities, or access specialist support if needed, for example, Platform has its own full-time therapist. Alternatively, young people can simply turn up and chill with their friends.
We work alongside a range of partners, including Music Education Islington, who provide tutors to teach young people to play a musical instrument, whatever their level of experience. We also support young people to run their own activities and have a group who meet every Tuesday for a fantasy role play session.
What are your hopes for the future?
We want the programme to be accessed by a wide range of people and local young people to have found a real sense of ownership here. We also want to see the young people we work with thrive and be happy, and to help them onto that pathway to adult life.
It’s also about giving young people a voice, whether it’s locally, regionally or nationally. We want them to be aware of the issues that affect them, to take an interest, be critical and feel empowered to make
Visit the Platform website to find out more, get involved and see the full weekly programme of activities.
Pictured: Amilcar Brown, customer service assistant at Platform