The gentrification of Hackney is London’s East End, has been well documented. However becoming trendy does not instantaneously have a positive effect. In fact, gentrification can just mean people are forced away.
The proliferation of expensive cheese and organic vegetable stands in Broadway Market is a sure sign that the neighbourhood is up and coming, but they don’t particularly cater to the community that was there before. The colonisation of local ‘working man pubs’ can also leave the regulars a little bemused and even alienated.
Harmony between these communities arises when people try to bridge the gap and make a connection. The recently established Hackney Pirates (http://www.bootstrapcompany.co.uk/19_hackney_pirates) follows in the tradition of David Egger’s 826 Valencia project (http://826valencia.org).
Local volunteers offer their time by giving one-to-one attention in an out of school learning environment to develop young people’s literacy and creativity by giving them
This sort of tutoring can have a transformative effect on the kids, who may not experience this level of attention and academic support from their parents and it can also be rewarding for the young professionals who have moved to the trendy new area because they enjoy the neighbourhood, but have previously had little communication with the neighbours.