Hackney Tours is Social

2020 is the year of the Staycation. So now we ALL have to rediscover the local 🙂 It’s also the year when Hackney Tours moves closer towards its aim of giving back to the community on multiple levels. Not just in the sense that tours can make people happier, provoking curiosity about where they live…

Holidays in Hackney: Marshes Winter Bivvy

How can we find plane-free low-carbon wonder in our own backyard? Not just because we need to change our attitude to travel, not just because many here can’t afford it either – but also because who can’t benefit from feeling a little happier every day by loving where they live? Big journeys start with a…

Holidays in Hackney: Midnight Kayak Adventure

For some years now I’ve been exploring how we can find plane-free low-carbon wonder in our own backyard. Not just because we need to change our attitude to travel, not just because many here can’t afford it either – but also because who can’t benefit from feeling a little happier every day by loving where…

Hackney Changemakers: Toyin Agbetu

I met Toyin and heard about Ligali through the free festival of learning Antiuniversity. This 1968 Hackney phenomenon was recently revived – as education becomes more expensive and institutions become ever more business-like – and still has strong links to the borough. Toyin was researching local activism and is another character whose upbeat demeanour contrasts…

Hackney Changemakers: Amy Todd

Since 2012, I’ve been telling the remarkable story on walks of the Dissenters of Newington Green and a remarkable ‘church’ where anybody and everybody is welcome. You don’t even have to believe in God to attend the Sunday service (motto: “Believe in good”). Many of us will be familiar with the Enlightenment icon Mary Wollstonecraft…

Hackney Changemakers: LA Saunders

I met Leslie on a business course run by Allia in Hackney. Her unusual ‘Hairstorian’ mission intrigued me and her energy was infectious, so we became friends. We are from completely different backgrounds and she’s opened doors for me into other sections of the community in Hackney. I’ve been welcomed warmly by low-key community activists…

Hackney Changemakers: Sophie Higgins

I’m very excited to introduce this series of guest blogs by Hackney Changemakers who have inspired me on my own journey to achieve something different in Social Enterprise Borough Hackney. We stand on the shoulders of giants here, wading in a centuries-old river of reforming consciousness. And today’s trailblazers are all great fun to be…

Look Up For Inspiration: Alternative Statue Tour

We’re very lucky in Hackney to have a tradition of changemakers and pioneers. The history here is full of brave figures who stood up for everything from the Abolition of Slavery through to gender equality and no war. It carries on today, with a river of consciousness that manifests itself in contemporary activism and also…

Lockdown Walks: Taking It All In

This is Pt 2 of “Lockdown Walks: We’re all Flaneurs/euses Now” *(see Pt 1 here) showing how to get more out of your Lockdown exercise. Way before mindfulness was all the rage, walking had been identified as a way to be present and to work the brain in different ways. I’ve experimented with the idea…

Lockdown Walks: We’re All Flâneurs Now

“A city always contains more than any inhabitant can know, and a great city always makes the unknown and the possible spurs to the imagination.” (Rebecca Solnit: ‘Wanderlust’) Just this morning – in a sustainability online group chat – to a guy who’s having a revelation rediscovering where he lives. He walks a different route…

When Mary Met Marcus: Virtue Returns

Today is Mary Wollstonecraft’s birthday. I can’t help thinking she’d be hugely impressed by the incredible phenomenon that is Mutual Aid groups