Inspire! celebrated the grand opening of our newly refurbished school and offices in Dalston on 21st September, with Meg Hillier, MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch, invited to officially open the building.
Since outgrowing our former premises, we began a refurbishment project in November 2016, reaching completion in March 2017. The new building at 34-38 Dalston Lane was transformed from a tired shell into a welcoming, open-plan space for our students and staff, thanks to the dedication of a number of volunteers who gave up their time to make the project possible. As well as providing additional space for the rapidly expanding school, new facilities include a high-spec music studio where students can record and produce their own music, and a sensory therapy room designed to reduce stress and improve focus.
Partners, volunteers and supporters gathered at the event to witness the official opening. Before unveiling a plaque dedicated to the project team, Meg Hillier praised Inspire!’s positive influence in Hackney over the past 12 years: “If we really want our young people to do well they need that access to careers and work experience and the networks which many in Hackney just don’t have…Inspire! is helping to fill that gap, and ensure that our young people have that opportunity to see and experience the workplace and see where their potential can lead them.”
Inspire!’s director, Jonny Boux, thanked all the volunteers and businesses that had helped prepare the building, and paid tribute to our supporters more widely, stating “the best advances are always born of partnership and we really couldn’t do the work we do preparing young people for life and work without the dedication, support and generosity of our partners and volunteers.”
Former students gave personal accounts of the positive impact of the Inspired Directions School on their lives, followed by a performance by current and former students of their own hip-hop composition.
Chair of Inspire!’s trustees, Emma West, praised the success of the event, stating that “[The] afternoon was…a worthy showcase of all the brilliant work that the team do day in and day out at Inspire! It was wonderful to hear and see how positive the students and alumni are about their experiences and to have so many supporters of the organisation there celebrating with us.”