A new hub has been launched in Edmonton Green Shopping Centre to provide a safe space for local young people to develop their digital and creative talent.
The newly established 21K Digital Media & Technology Centre has been created to offer youngsters the opportunity to gain valuable digital and employability skills and, is the only facility of its kind in Edmonton Green Shopping Centre.
Construction trainees from the College of North East London helped transform the unit, situated in the shopping centre’s Upper North Square, above Wilko and Brews Coffee. Their work included plastering the walls, painting, decorating, bricklaying, replacing the toilet and kitchen suites, removing carpet tiles, and replacing pipes.
Founder Colin Lee-Own, an Edmonton resident of 53 years and father of five, has worked tirelessly to provide employability services and mentoring to young people in the area.
He said: “I realised there were three tower blocks located in Edmonton Green Shopping Centre that accommodate 2,700 residents, many of which are teenagers. The only facilities that were currently available to young people after school within the shopping centre was Edmonton Green Library.
“There is also a lack of job opportunities for school leavers, low paid jobs that are not sustainable to lift families out of severe poverty and many families have been living in overcrowded accommodation for decades.
“I feel so positive about the Digital Media & Technology Centre’s future and the impact it will have in improving the quality of lives for young people living locally.”
All of the contributors came together on August 8 for the digital hub’s pre–launch, to celebrate everyone’s hard work it took to get the initiative off the ground.
Colin added: “Without the support of the Edmonton Green management team, specifically Sabri and Marie, it would have been impossible to achieve the current outcomes. They have been incredibly supportive of my visions from the outset and it shows the shopping centre has a synergy between the local community and businesses.”
It is estimated that around 90% of all jobs over the next 20 years will require some level of digital skills.
Sabri Marsaoui, Asset Director of Edmonton Green Shopping Centre, said: “The purpose of this centre is to ensure that our local young people are equipped with the skills necessary to take up employment opportunities that are being created in the digital world.
“The strapline ‘Building Edmonton Together’ has never been more relevant in regard to this project. It was fantastic to see all the contributors at the pre-launch, where Colin deservedly received the recognition for everything that he has done to bring his idea to life.
“Edmonton Green will always be about community and on behalf of the shopping centre I wish Colin and his team every success.”
For more information about 21k Digital Media, or if you are interested in becoming a mentor, please visit www.21kdigitalmedia.com.