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NCS deliver Hackathon of Hope in Greater Manchester

  • Tuesday, October 5, 2021
  • Posted By The Growth Company

Last month NCS (National Citizen Service) hosted a ‘Hackathons of Hope’ in Greater Manchester, in partnership the Growth Company and Onside. 

During the event, which took place in Oldham, over seventy young people from Greater Manchester took part in a series of youth-led peer-to-peer workshops on different topics, discussing and debating the issues that underpin the crime and violence blighting the country’s poorest communities.  

Called ‘Changing the Conversation’, the Hack at Mahdlo Youth Zone in Oldham aimed to establish real change for the UK’s most vulnerable communities, help them to be levelled up and freed from poverty, violence and discrimination. 

The first Hackathon of Hope took place in London in July but there will be events in Belfast, Cardiff and Glasgow until November in addition to Greater Manchester. The Hackathons format has been overseen by NCS (National Citizen Service), which is delivered in the North West by the Growth Company and a network of delivery partners.

NCS chief executive Mark Gifford said: “NCS is delighted to be part of the Hope Collective and we are excited to see how the project grows and develops.  

“The hack events are a brilliant opportunity to put young people's voices at the forefront of these discussions and support them to explore and develop innovative solutions to societal challenges. Our events team, who developed the hack format, are passionate about the project and the way it brings so many different organisations into the mix in partnership.” 

The collective is a partnership of organisations including youth charities, corporate organisations, health and justice professionals and the UK’s Violence Reduction Units. 
It started in 2020 to support the Damilola Taylor Trust’s 20th anniversary legacy campaign following the 10-year-old's killing from a stab wound in London in 2000. 

Shortly afterwards, it has received the backing of Prime Minister Boris Johnson who has declared December 7 - Damilola’s birthday - as an annual day of youth-led social action called ‘Day of Hope’. 

Damilola Taylor Trust Legacy Director, Gary Trowsdale, said: “This latest hack and the others in our cities are being driven by the young people themselves to move this great project forward. 
“The youth leadership team came up with the title ‘Changing the conversation’. They were fed up with hearing about knife crime, gangs and drugs and instead wanted to talk about what solutions to poverty and inequality might look like if young people themselves were able to influence policies.”

Ross Foster, Head of NCS at the Growth Company, said “It was brilliant to see so many young people engaged with the Hackathon of Hope event. Over seventy young people attended and spoke openly about issues that affect them and their local area; including mental health, youth unemployment and a need for strengthening communication with local police forces.” 

For more information about NCS, please visit the NCS website here.  
For more on the Day of Hope, click here.