HCC students take part in River Thames clean up for 2012 Legacy project
Posted 3rd April 2012
A group of Hackney Community College students spent a day wading through mud and murky waters, clearing debris from the River Thames in a bid to help rejuvenate the area ahead of the 2012 Games.
The students volunteered to take part in the big clean up of the river banks in Greenwich, as part of the Legacy Champions programme, a scheme inspired by the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
They joined forces with fellow Champions from seven other host borough Colleges to transform the area, which overlooks the North Greenwich Arena, one of the Olympic venues in the capital.
Travel and Tourism student Coleen Kinch, aged 18, said of the experience: “I am a proud Londoner and enjoyed the chance to help clean up the Thames to make it more attractive for visitors to see. I hope that people will be inspired by our efforts and be motivated to look after their communities.”
Sponsored by EDF Energy and delivered by youth action charity Envision, the Legacy Champions programme gives young people the opportunity to create a positive change in their local area, through developing projects to tackle social and environmental issues.
John Farrington, EDF Energy’s London 2012 Programme Workstream Director said: “Cleaning up the river while overlooking one of the Olympic venues, North Greenwich Arena, really does capture the spirit of creating a lasting legacy of the Games. The students put a lot of hard work into the clean-up, just like the effort going into the local projects they are creating to improve their community through the Legacy Champions programme.”
Patrick Taylor, Envision’s Programmes Manager added: “All the young people that took part in the clean-up are really excited to be able to contribute to getting their local area ready for the London 2012 Games. This event is just another great opportunity for all the teams to come together to make a real difference.”
As well as taking part in the Thames Team Challenge, HCC’s Legacy Champions are also working on their own community initiative which they hope will have a lasting impact in years to come.
The students are planning a fun, interactive cultural workshop for local primary school pupils, with the aim of encouraging them to embrace and celebrate Hackney’s rich, diverse ethnic community.
Last year’s Champions helped to regenerate a local community centre garden by planting flowers and vegetables.
Principal Ian Ashman said: “The Legacy Champions initiative is testimony to the enthusiastic spirit of our learners. They are very proud of their community and through projects like this, they are able to make positive changes that can benefit themselves and others around them for a long time.”