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Here East hosted the Project Hackney Post 16 Roadshow with Hackney Council to welcome young people from the local community to our campus to explore future education and employment opportunities.

As a collaborative initiative encouraging more students to pursue further education, Project Hackney aims to showcase the vibrant ecosystem of education and employment options available for students aged 16-19 in the Hackney area.

Welcoming local Year 10, 11 and 12 students to our campus in Plexal, this collaborative open day featured stalls from local schools, sixth forms, colleges, universities and employers, including many of our incredible tenants including Teesside University London, Staffordshire University London, LMA and UCL East.

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Moderated by Anya James, Strategic Director for Careers, Progression and Post 16 Education there was a lively panel discussion between Jordan Thompson - World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Jane John-Lewis – Medical Robotics Engineer; and Gavin Poole - Here East CEO; exploring everything from the panellists’ career insights, advice and anecdotes, to their most memorable success stories.

Jordan highlighted the importance of resilience and adaptability in a changing world, a passion for what you’re doing, always believing in yourself and moving forward – even if you have to take a few steps back first.

Speaking about her career as an engineer, Jane emphasised the need to keep learning, how making a plan can help to reflect on successes and challenges, how she has found ways to turn disadvantages into advantages, and why starting a business is all about solving problems.

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Here are a few snapshots of Gavin Poole’s insights from the discussion:

Speaking about his experience working as an RAF engineer, Gavin said: “It forced discipline into me, I found I had a skill that I hadn’t been able to unleash before – leadership. I had this natural ability to gather people and take them on a journey.

Sharing a few top tips that helped his career journey, Gavin said: “First, always ask questions – even if you are the person who always asks the questions, never stop learning. Second, life is tough and there are always setbacks; but rather than the end, see these as experiences to learn from – get back up, try again, and never give up.

Explaining how he stays motivated during tough times, Gavin said: “I stay motivated by the fact that we are making a big impact and I can see how we are driving change – 6,500 people, 5 universities, countless businesses and startups. Every single day is different and I’m still learning new things each day. I also have an amazing team with a shared passion who need very little guidance because of that joint vision.

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Here East’s ethos is grounded in a mission to drive positive impact for our local communities in East London, striving to provide better education, jobs, opportunities and outcomes. We're thrilled to bring the young minds of our local community to Here East to demonstrate the possibilities on our campus and within the borough of Hackney.

A huge thank you to everyone who joined us for a day exploring the exciting next steps for East London’s young innovators, creatives, pioneers and entrepreneurs.

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